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News from the Center

  • 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.
  • Horse Feathers Club won first prize for best spirit with 2 horses, a chicken, 4-H clover and their club name carved into their pumpkin!

    Massachusetts 4-H Scares Up a Virtual Halloween Event

    October 29, 2020
    Creative people continue to find fun ways to celebrate traditional events, even during a pandemic. Mass 4-H has proven once again that staying at home does not have to dampen kids’ spirits.   
  • UMass Winter School for Turf Managers announcement

    UMass Winter School for Turf Managers Open for Applications

    October 6, 2020
    A comprehensive, dynamic short course, especially suited for experienced professionals who manage fine lawns and landscapes is now open. Applications are now open for UMass Winter School!
  • Green School logo

    UMass Extension's Green School starts October 26, Registration Now Open

    August 10, 2020
    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!
  • 2020 Online fruit twilight meeting

    Twilight Meetings for Farmers Go Online

    June 2, 2020
    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.
  • Still from InsectXaminer video on gypsy moth

    Come Examine Insects with UMass Extension

    April 17, 2020
    Looking for exciting short movies to watch while in quarantine? Look no further!  A new video series, InsectXaminer, about Massachusetts insects will both educate and entertain you.
  • ground-mounted solar panels

    UMass Clean Energy Extension Awarded Solar Grant

    April 17, 2020
    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.
  • bee on apple blossom

    Extension Programs and Functions Moving Online

    March 18, 2020
    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.
  • 2017 Agriculture Census results

    2017 Massachusetts Agricultural Census: Read All About It!

    January 30, 2020
    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.
  • Elizabeth Garofalo and Jon Clements install watehr station at UMass Agronomy Farm in  South Deerfield

    New Farmers’ Network Weather Station at UMass Research Farm

    January 27, 2020
    When the decade-old weather station at the UMass Crop and Animal Research and Education Farm in South Deerfield was hit by lightning this past summer, the impact of that loss was felt by the region’s growers. This November, UMass fruit extension educators Jon Clements and Liz Garofalo replaced the decade-old defunct weather station with a new one.


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