A $7.75 million project to expand and modernize the UMass Amherst Cranberry Station, an important research facility for the commonwealth’s cranberry industry, was celebrated today with a construction celebration event at the station in East Wareham, Mass. Work is now under way on the facility with a targeted completion date of August 2022.
“If we think about it, there’s a reason so many of our New England communities have an Elm Street... there once were elms everywhere,” states Richard (Rick) Harper, extension associate professor and urban forester, as he trims weeds among the research elm specimens at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Though once commonplace, mature elm trees, with their iconic vase-shaped branches, are now found mostly in archival photographs.
The MA Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) announced on 9/28/21 that a small, established, and breeding population of the invasive spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) was detected in Worcester County, in the city of Fitchburg. This finding was confirmed by state officials.
“Circle Your Wagons” was the cry of stagecoach drivers in the old west to prevent attacks while protecting those in the inner circle. Jaime Piñero, University of Massachusetts Amherst Extension professor, is researching a similar scheme to help apple growers.
Did you purchase and plant boxwoods this spring? Have you seen these moths or caterpillars? If so, state officials request that Massachusetts residents inspect newly planted boxwoods for signs of box tree moth, and report any findings by calling 617-626-1779. Check out current updates on Spotted Lanternfly in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Fruit Growers Association (MFGA) held its annual summer meeting on July 14 at Clarkdale Fruit Farm, Deerfield. Several extension fruit educators from the University of Massachusetts were on hand to share research on issues ranging from insects and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to seasonal diseases that affect growers across the Commonwealth.
Richard Harper, extension associate professor of urban and community forestry in the Department of Environmental Conservation, recently teamed up with Liza Ahearn, a Girl Scout troop leader from Littleton, to help her lead her troop to making a big contribution to a national scouting initiative. Thanks to fortuitous networking, Ahearn’s troop received saplings as part a national scouting tree promise to plant 5 million trees by 2026
The UMass Cranberry Station in East Wareham, the 100-year-old premier research facility on cranberry production, is due to get a laboratory infrastructure upgrade and addition in the next 18 months or so. Funded with $5.75M from the Commonwealth and $2M from UMass Amherst, the construction project is now open for bids. Bid documents available here. General bids are due on June 9. Sub-bids are due on May 26. There are walk-through times available, sorted by work type, on May 13. Read more...
George Brown, father of Norfolk County 4-H member Caleigh Brown, took her dog, Teddy, to a meeting at the Capitol with Congressman James McGovern (MA 2nd district) and Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA 3rd district) as part of the K9 First Responders Critical Incident Mental Health Support.
Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, an invasive insect native to Asia, was first detected in the United States in 2014, in southeastern Pennsylvania. This highly destructive pest has spread rapidly across the northeastern region of the United States. SLF has the potential to cause catastrophic damage to Massachusetts agricultural and horticultural industries.
Update on SLF: July 23, 2021
What happens when you merge sunshine, solar panels and plants at a specific site? Dwayne Breger, extension professor at UMass Amherst, in partnership with landowners, state agencies, solar developers and others, is intent on finding out.
We are working hard to make our expertise and resources available to you in this challenging time. While in-person events and some on-campus services are suspended to protect public health, we are continuing with some scouting and farm visits, and many existing and new resources are available online and through virtual delivery.
Commercial horticulture professionals in the “Green Industries” interested in a comprehensive 12-day certificate course can register now for UMass Extension’s Green School. Read more to pre-register today!
Ahhh, twilight meetings: much-anticipated moments for farmers. So what do Extension and Massachusetts growers do when a coronavirus pandemic changes the in-person meet up? They pivot: information now flows virtually, over Youtube channels, conference calls and zoom meetings.
Solar power is one step closer to serving rural Massachusetts. The University of Massachusetts’ Clean Energy Extension will work with three Western Massachusetts communities--Blandford, Wendell and Westhampton--to develop plans for siting solar panels, in a project funded by a grant from the federal Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Because of the coronavirus emergency, the UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment and UMass Extension have postponed public face-to-face programs and closed their laboratories through at least May 18.
If you are a grower, work for an agency, non-profit organization, or business that intersects with agriculture, the document you’ve been waiting for is now available. The results of the every-five-year federal census of agriculture came out months ago, but now you can make use of an easier-to-read version of the results for Massachusetts.