On a perfect late summer evening, farmers from Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire hopped on a hay wagon to catch a ride to the UMass Extension research field plots. UMass Extension educators and specialists met with over 40 growers on a tour of ongoing research trials at the UMass Crop and Animal Research and Education Center in South Deerfield, Mass. Growers like Maureen Dempsey from Intervale Farm in Westhampton, Mass., and Tom Petcen, owner of Pop’s Farm in Hatfield, Mass., zeroed in on harmful insects. Petcen said, “I came to learn about the newest results in pest management.
Extension in Western Massachusetts
About Western Massachusetts
The western region of Massachusetts is composed of Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties. The largest city in the region is Springfield, located in Hampden County, along the Interstate 91 corridor on the Connecticut River.
Nutrition educator, Amanda McCabe, at UMass Extension in Amherst, cooked with young students, using recipes that incorporated veggies students are growing in Springfield at Square One. (MassLive 9/6/17)
Microbiologist Stephen Rich's laboratory team at UMass Amhest tests ticks that have crawled across, bitten or otherwise come into human contact. Within three business days of mailing in a tick as part of the Send a Tick to College program, people get a list of any pathogens the ticks carry. (Cape Cod Times 8/26/17)
The University of Massachusetts Amherst received a grant from the state to help waterways and habitats in Franklin and Hampshire counties. David Boutt, associate professor of geoscience, UMass Amherst, will study water samples to understand impacts of drought. Boutt is looking for samples from wells and streams across the region.
In mid-May, Professor Amanda Bayer, who specializes in plant materials at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, led a campus tour of ornamental trees and shrubs. The two-hour tour left attendees surprised and amazed at the botanical treasures and landscape beauty the campus offers.
Entomologists at UMass Amherst report that some of this season’s first gypsy moth egg masses have begun to hatch, as observed on April 26 in Belchertown at a location off Route 202. Extension entomologist Tawny Simisky reports that a single egg mass can hold as many as 1,000 eggs. Gypsy moth is a non-native invasive insect in North America.