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News from the Media

  • Ballot dispute brewing over cage-free eggs and ban on calf confinement

    December 3, 2015

    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)


  • Winter moths make appearance for mating season

    December 3, 2015

    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)

  • UMass Cranberry Station in East Wareham is scheduled for upgrades

    December 3, 2015

    The UMass Cranberry Station, in East Wareham, is scheduled for a face lift. The plan is to update the research facility, constructed in the 1960s, with modern laboratories and equipment. And Dr. Carolyn DeMoranville, director of the UMASS Cranberry Station, couldn’t be happier. (Kingston Wicked Local 12/1/15)

  • Massachusetts Launches Wildlife Climate Action Tool to Help With Response to Climate Change

    November 24, 2015

    AMHERST, Mass.— A coalition of research institutions and fish and wildlife agencies this week unveiled a new online tool for use by local decision-makers, conservation managers, land trusts, regional planners, landowners and community leaders in Massachusetts who are interested in taking action in response to climate change. Users of the Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool can look up different species and habitat types to see what beneficial climate actions they can take. (USGS 11/23/15; UMass New Release 11/23/15

  • Cranberries are her life year-round

    November 23, 2015

    Cranberries in a variety of culinary creations are everywhere this time of year, a staple of the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner table.

    But for Carolyn DeMoranville, the tiny, tart fruit is her life year round. She is director of the Cranberry Experiment Station in Wareham, part of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where all-things cranberry are studied, and she said this year’s harvest in Massachusetts -- where the cranberry is the state’s largest food crop -- will be robust, at more than 2 million barrels. (Boston Globe 11/23/15)

  • Food Deserts of Springfield: Lack of Access to Healthy Food

    November 19, 2015

    Frank Mangan, Professor in UMass Amherst’s Stockbridge School of Agriculture, works with Food Zone on a project to encourage Latinos to make their own sofrito versus buying it in cans from corner stores where contents are high in sugar, sodium and fat. (Valley Advocate 11/09/15)

  • Water-mold blight killing crops in Conn. River Valley

    November 12, 2015

    The Recorder (Greenfield) reports on outbreaks of Phtopthera capsici (a water-borne mold) on farms in Sunderland and Deerfield. Quotes UMass Extension vegetable specialists Katie Campbell-Nelson and UMass diagnostician Angela Madeiras. The Recorder, 11/12/15.

  • Should Massachusetts moose roam free? UMass adjunct prfoessor comments

    November 12, 2015

    Stephen DeStefano, adjunct professor, environmental conservation, says there are between 1,000 and 2,000 moose in Massachusetts and they can be dangerous if involved with car accidents because they are such large, heavy animals. (Republican, 11/11/15)


  • Massachusetts Towns Support UMass Amherst Tick Testing Program

    November 5, 2015

    AMHERST, Mass. – The recent popular success and high demand for a tick testing service provided to Massachusetts residents by the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has led LMZ director Stephen Rich to extend the program, despite loss of state funding, by offering towns a co-pay model. (11/4/15 UMass News Office)

  • Building Privacy Into Smart Buildings

    November 5, 2015

    AMHERST, Mass. – As more smart grids and buildings are fitted with digital electric meters, Web-enabled appliances and lighting, programmable outlets and switches, and intelligent HVAC systems that rely on Internet-connected sensors, experts increasingly worry that smart sensors and other Internet-connected devices may leak sensitive private information, or hackers might take such data for malicious purposes. David Irwin, electrical and computer engineering, and Prashant Shenoy of the College of Information and Computer Sciences direct this project. (10/30/15 UMass News Office)

  • Oysters, aquaculture, slowly gaining some love on SouthCoast

    October 28, 2015

    With 75 percent of global fisheries overfished, there is a renewed interest in boosting aquaculture as well as great demand. Moreover, cultured seafood is safer to eat as the industry is heavily regulated at this time, experts said. The Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) funds three aquaculture centers at Salem State University, the Barnstable County Cooperative Extension, and the Center for Sustainable Aquaculture at UMass Amherst. (SouthCoast Today 10/28/15)

  • Climate change: Heat may drive cranberry industry north

    October 26, 2015

    University of Massachusetts Cranberry Station director Carolyn DeMoranville said there hasn’t been much change in annual rainfall totals in the past 20 years, but the station has noted one significant change in the past six or seven years: The rain comes in big rain events with long dry periods in between. Those torrential rains tend to run off the land instead of soaking in and replenishing diminished groundwater supplies, making irrigation costly. (Cape Cod Times 10/26/15)

  • Massachusetts Writes Plan to Boost Local Food and Farmers

    October 26, 2015

    Massachusetts state officials released a plan for boosting locally grown food – the first such plan since 1974.

    "We have brought together an incredibly diverse and broad range of people involved in the food system, everyone from anti-hunger advocates to farmers to truckers to policy advocates, to try to figure out how we can build on the strength of the state's food system and collaborate in ways we haven't collaborated before," said Winton Pitcoff, the project manager overseeing the plan and a Plainfield resident. (Masslive 10/25/15)

  • Physical Activity Has Greater Impact on Body Composition in Postmenopausal Women

    October 20, 2015

    CLEVELAND, Ohio--Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, regardless of your age. But a new study coming out of the University of Massachusetts Amherst shows that some types of physical activity have a greater impact on body composition in postmenopausal compared to premenopausal women. (Science Newsline, 10/20/15; Science Codex, 10/19/15)

  • New England Foliage Season Delayed, but Spectacular, UMass professor comments

    October 19, 2015

    BOSTON (AP) — New England residents and visitors to the six-state region hoping to catch a glimpse of its celebrated fall foliage may have been a little disappointed so far in seeing more green than blazing orange, scarlet and gold. This year's foliage season was delayed slightly because of weather conditions but is likely to end up being just as spectacular. Paul Catanzaro, an extension assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts explains. (Hawaii Tribune 10/18/15; New York Times, ABC News, Houston Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Daily Mail [U.K.], Yahoo Singapore [all from AP], 10/14/15)

  • Apple's DNA determines crispness says Wesley Autio, UMass professor

    October 7, 2015

    Whether the apples in your pie bake into tender, well-defined slices or turn shapeless and mushy is built into the fruit’s DNA.  What gives apples a firm texture is the structure and thickness of the fruit cell walls, says Wesley Autio, professor of pomology and directorof the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. (Boston Globe 10/7/15)

  • UMass researcher finds way to fight cheatgrass, a western scourge

    October 7, 2015

    Cheatgrass could vie for the title of the most successful invasive species in North America. The weed lives in every state, and is the dominant plant on more than 154,000 square miles of the West, by one estimate. When it turns green in the spring, “you can actually see it from space,” said Bethany Bradley, an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who studies biogeography, the spatial distribution of species. (New York Times 10/5/15)

  • Local farms reflect changes in pumpkin production

    October 5, 2015

    BRIDGEWATER - At Peterson’s Farm Greenhouse on South Street in Bridgewater, the farm stand is lit up by a display of blazing orange due to the dozens of pumpkins for sale at the stand.

    “In a lot of ways, it was an ideal growing year,” said Katie Campbell-Nelson, a vegetable specialist for the UMass Extension School’s Center or Agriculture, Food and the Environment. The dry weather meant certain diseases were less prevalent in pumpkin plants. (Enterprise News 10/5/15)

  • Thre's a New Tick in Town: UMass professor reports

    September 27, 2015

    Stephen M. Rich, UMass microbiologist and director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology, comments in a story about lone star ticks on Martha’s Vineyard. He says the insects have been present for a couple of years and now are well established on at least part of the island.

  • Flies released to combat winter moth problem

    September 27, 2015

    University of Massachusetts Amherst professor and entomologist Joseph Elkinton is working to curb the high numbers of winter moths in New England with a very specific fly called Cyzenis albicans.

    “If you had them in your yard, you would never even notice them,” said Elkinton, and you definitely want them in your yard. “They only attack winter moths, which is a real advantage. We don’t want them on our native moths or butterflies.” (Sippican Week, 9/27/15)