Unseasonable weather is giving the nonnative insect plenty of time to reproduce before its caterpillars wreak havoc next spring. Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment information quoted. Portland Press Herald, 12/17/15
News from the Media
A new 4-H Club has started in Scituate, as a registered non-profit, part of a co-ed, agricultural-based national organization managed through the UMass Extension office. (Scituate Mariner, 12/17/15)
Over the past two weeks, millions of winter moths have emerged. There have been widespread reports of them throughout the North Shore and Merrimack Valley. These small moths flock to the sides of homes and trees in the twilight hours and after dark. They are the warning sign of devastation that is sure to follow next spring. UMass professor Joseph Elkinton advises. (Newburyport News 12/18/15)
Watershed scientist Timothy Randhir, UMass environmental conservation and research wildlife biologist David King of the U.S. Forest Service and environmental conservation, are on a mission. They are engaged in an interdisciplinary research program that will refine and validate conservation practices viewed by Honduran conservationists as the last best hope for conserving this area’s dwindling forests, which are critically threatened by expansion of unsustainable coffee cultivation. (UMass News Office 12/9/15)
AMHERST, Mass. – Katherine Zeller, a doctoral candidate in environmental conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, recently won a Switzer Environmental Fellowship from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation of Belfast, Maine, for her research on developing effective corridors for wildlife between protected areas and wildlife populations. (UMass News Office 12/15/15)
Tiny Blackpoll Warblers have the longest migratory route of any New World warbler, making a nonstop flight over the Atlantic Ocean each fall from New England to northern South America each year, but a study forthcoming in The Auk: Ornithological Advances shows that individuals that breed in western North America migrate east first to fatten up before migrating across the water. (PhysOrg 12/10/15)
AMHERST, Mass. - Food scientist and analytical chemist Lili He at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently received a three-year, $473,628 grant from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture to study mechanisms of how chemical pesticides, applied both systemically and to the surface, penetrate fresh produce and move into plant tissues, and how this may affect food safety for consumers. (Recorder 12/8/15, Quality and Assurance Food Safety 12/7/15, EurekAlert 12/4/15)
Where do your eggs come from?
A fresh dispute is brewing between animal rights and agriculture over a ballot initiative that would prohibit the confinement of pigs, calves and chickens, and prohibit the sale of meat and eggs in Massachusetts from animals that have been confined. UMass Extension educator, Carrie Chickering-Sears, comments. (Masslive 12/2/15)
It’s that time of year again — the winter moths have arrived. And for some areas, researchers say the swarms will probably be thicker than last year’s.
The winter moth is in the midst of its mating season of late fall and early winter. Many of the insects appearing now are the same ones who chewed through the leaves of New England’s trees in the spring as caterpillars and then burrowed into the soil to wait out the summer. (Globe 11/30/15)