It’s a new year – what issues are going to have an impact on your business in 2015? Clements remarked, " The top issue facing apple growers this year is the unknown challenges and the pitfalls of marketing a large apple crop. Consider the recent Seattle dockworkers strike, which has slowed exports in a year of a record-breaking apple crop in Washington state. The global economy has expanded the apple business dramatically, but volatility in that market and/or infrastructure issues could make a big impact on U.S orchardists. And of course China — is it possible we could get out of the apple growing business and let China supply all our apples? It has happened in the electronics industry." (Growing Produce 01/06/15)
News from the Media
Steven Goodwin, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, comments in a story about efforts to prevent agroterrorism. Goodwin says public land-grant universities play an important role in insuring food security. He also says efforts to develop urban agricultural activities have begun to complement the wider efforts to promote food production. (University Business January 2015)
WORCESTER —Rolling out new versions of an existing product, a business strategy known as line extension, can be lucrative but also tricky, said Eric A. Decker, professor and head of the food science department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Seasonal seltzer flavors at Polar Beverages, a family-owned Worcester maker of bottled sodas and drinks, knows the power of adding special flavors in summer and winter. The company produces seltzer year-round in 18 core flavors, but twice a year it digs into food blogs, social media and its own executives' informal tastings to come up with limited-release seltzers. (12/16/14 Worcester Telegram)
In the last 40 years, Arctic temperatures have risen at over double the pace as for the whole planet. As a result, numerous species of whales, walruses, fish, bears and seals are beginning to migrate into new habitats. In these new habitats, they encounter similar species that have not co-existed for thousands of years and interbreeding occurs, reports Nautilus.
Hybrids that mate with each other form a hybrid swarm. So, the original species disappear. Basically you've swapped out the genome that has been fine-tuned by evolution for thousands of generations," said Andrew Whiteley, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. (12/13/14 Design & Trend)
Patricia J. Vittum, Stockbridge School of Agriculture and interim director of the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, has been named the recipient of the 2015 United States Golf Association Green Section Award recognizing her distinguished service to the game of golf. Turfnet.com 12/9/14, USGA 12/8/14
The UMass Amherst Design Center in Court Square has had its lease cancelled by the City of Springfield to make way for new development. The Center is directed by MIchael DiPasquale, extension assistant professor in the University's Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning. Channel 22/WWLP December 2, 2014.
Carolyn DeMoranville has been leading a team of scientists and researchers at the UMass Cranberry Station for the last 30 years. The goal here is to improve on anything and everything related to cranberry production.
“Anything that would be involved in producing the crop, from nutrient management to water management to pest management,” DeMoranville said.
DeMoranville cites the unique relationship between local growers and the scientists who work at the Station. (11/24/14 WCAI)
NEW BEDFORD — At Amaral's Market on Belleville Avenue on a busy Saturday afternoon, the aroma of spiced fish filled the air as nutritionist/chef Alison Miller of the UMass Extension demonstrated how it's possible to eat well on a budget and obtain healthy foods at the corner market. Small markets often can create what nutritionists call "food deserts," in which fresh, wholesome fruit and vegetables are hard to come by. (11/23/14 South Coast)
AMHERST - State Sen. Stanley Rosenberg is seeking data on state-owned conservation land that could be affected by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.'s 128-mile route across the state, reports the Greenfield Recorder. Rosenberg has asked the University of Massachusetts' Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment to conduct an analysis of the conservation land impacts of the proposed natural gas pipeline from Richmond to Dracut. 11/11/14 MassLive)
The University of Massachusetts is reviewing the state’s environmental resources that could be affected by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.’s proposed 128-mile route across the state.
The University’s Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment plans to issue a series of reports beginning early this month that will put the environmental effects of the company’s proposal in context, according to Scott Jackson, associate professor of environmental conservation. (11/10/14 Recorder)