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News from the Center

  • Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce Is Just Around the Corner – and So Is the Completion of the Updated UMass Cranberry Station

    November 16, 2022
    The perfect balance between tart and sweet, cranberries are an American favorite and an important Massachusetts agricultural crop. An exciting project at the UMass Cranberry Station is now paving the way for enhanced cranberry research in the Commonwealth.
  • Apples, Donuts and Sustainable Pest Management at Red Apple Farms

    November 7, 2022
    During the week of Oct. 17, more than forty-two students from UMass Amherst and Mount Wachusett Community College enjoyed an immersive expedition to Red Apple Farm, a fourth-generation family farm located in Phillipston, Massachusetts. On top of boasting some of the most delicious, award-winning cider donuts in the state, Red Apple is committed to integrated pest management (IPM), a holistic, environmentally-sound approach that minimizes the use of pesticides.
  • Extension Educator Jon Clements helping impart a module on the use of Pesticides in commercial orchards.

    The Fruits of this Summer’s Labor: Research and Extension Experiences for Undergrads 2022

    November 1, 2022
    The summer of 2022 was a busy and productive one for the inaugural Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduates (REEU) program. REEU is a program under the Stockbridge School and Agriculture (SSA) in partnership with UMass Extension and is currently funded to run through 2026. It aims to provide research training, professional development, and Extension experience to undergraduate students while reaching out to community colleges through paid full-time summer internships.
  • Grass

    UMass Extension’s Green School Registration Open

    September 22, 2022
    Registration is now open for UMass Extension’s Green School, a certificate short course offering horticultural training for professionals and aspiring individuals alike. The remote program will run from Oct. 25th through Dec. 15 three afternoons per week., totaling 60+ hours, and will be taught by UMass Extension Specialists along with UMass faculty and guest instructors. 
  • Vineyard in Colmar, France, where co-author Christoph Bertsch teaches at the Laboratoire Vigne Biotechnologies et Environnement, Université de Haute-Alsace.

    Wine-Drinkers of the World Rejoice! New Research, Led by UMass Amherst, Finds Key to Billion-Dollar Problem

    July 25, 2022
    Grapevine Trunk Diseases, or GTDs, are the bane of vineyard owners worldwide, and as of 2012, were responsible for more than $1.5 billion in annual economic damages. While researchers have long known that a host of pathogenic fungi combine to gang up on grapevines, the mechanics of how these GTD-causing fungi work has remained a mystery. 
  • Construction worker types on a tablet while standing near six wind turbines

    UMass Amherst Emerges as Offshore Wind Workforce Training Leader with Newest Grant Award

    July 21, 2022
    The Baker-Polito Administration and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) recently announced that a team led by UMass Extension professor Dwayne Breger at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been selected to receive $220,000 in grant funding to support the growth of the UMass Clean Energy Extension’s (CEE) Offshore Wind Professional Certificate Program.
  • giant hogweed

    Why Confronting Invasive Species Is One of the Best Ways to Prepare for Climate Change

    June 1, 2022
    New research, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and led by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, finds that the ecological effect of invasive species alone is comparable to the combined effects of invasives plus warming temperatures, drought or nitrogen deposition. This suggests that a critical preparation for climate change is to manage invasive species at the local level.
  • Close-up of bee on a sunflower

    Can Sunflowers Help Defeat the 'Insect Apocalypse'?

    April 5, 2022
    An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, led by Lynn Adler, professor of biology, has been awarded $2.4 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to trace how food affects the ability of pathogens to attack plant pollinators. The research will be the first conducted across a wide range of scales, from the molecular to the community-wide, and has immediate implications for ecosystems, including agricultural efforts, worldwide.
  • Produce, seeds, and nuts

    Portable Sensor Technology Aims to Quickly Detect Foodborne Contaminants Outside the Lab

    June 3, 2022
    An international team led by a University of Massachusetts Amherst food and environmental virologist has received a $750,000 USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) partnership grant to develop and test portable, rapid biosensors capable of detecting noroviruses and mycotoxins in foods and agricultural products. It is among the first partnership grants awarded with an international partner by the USDA.
  • Ground-breaking for UMass Cranberry Station Upgrades

    UMass Amherst Holds Construction Celebration for Expansion and Modernization Project at Cranberry Station in East Wareham

    October 27, 2021
    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.
  • Scott Hathaway, Westfield tree warden and SSA graduate, helps maintain growing elms on Dakin Frield at UMass Amherst

    Can American Elms Return to Our Towns? The Research Continues.

    October 25, 2021
    “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.
  • Spotted Lanternfly in Fitchburg

    Spotted Lanternfly Arrives in Massachusetts

    September 29, 2021
    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.  
  • Grafted apple branch cultivar Liberty

    Growing Healthier Apples More Sustainably

    August 23, 2021
    “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.
  • Boxwood moth

    Pest Alerts: Box Tree Moth Alert and SLF update

    August 3, 2021
    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.  
  • Elsa Petit shares best practices for growing grapes in Massachusetts

    Massachusetts Fruit Growers Gather at Clarkdale Fruit Farm in Deerfield

    July 15, 2021
    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.
  • Hailey Gallagher, Girl Scout Troop 62407 plants tree for the future

    UMass CAFE Supporting Girl Scouts Tree Planting Initiative

    May 25, 2021
    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 
  • Front cover of bid document

    Wareham Facility Construction Bids Open Now

    May 5, 2021
    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...
  • Teddy Brown, K9 First Responder at the US Capitol, trained by 4-H member, Caleigh Brown

    Massachusetts 4-H Members Connect At National Gatherings

    April 22, 2021
    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. 
  • Adult Spotted Lanternfly. Photo credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

    Looking for Spotted Lanternfly, Recent Invasive Arrival

    January 13, 2021
    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
  • Dual-use solar research installation at the UMass Extension farm in South Deerfield. Courtesy: River Strong/UMass Amherst.

    UMass Leads Research on Dual-Use Solar-agriculture Installation

    December 7, 2020
    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.


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