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News from the Center

  • Weeds on a cranberry farm being treated by Katherine Ghantous with the type of open flame cultivation tool used in the study.

    Flame Cultivation promising as weed control method for cranberry

    December 2, 2013
    Cranberries are important agricultural commodities in states such as Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Washington, and Oregon. But cranberry-growing operations are challenged by weeds, which compete for precious resources and often decrease fruit yields and revenues. Producers currently rely on weed management strategies such as flooding and sanding cranberry beds, hand-weeding, or applications of pre- and postemergence herbicides.
  • Kathleen Draper addresses Biochar Conference

    Harvesting Hope

    October 25, 2013
    For four days in October, the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts became the hub of the biochar universe, as 300 researchers, entrepreneurs, and policy makers from across North America and the world met for the 2013 USBI North American Biochar Symposium. Focused on the Symposium’s theme – Harvesting Hope: The Science and Synergies of Biochar – participants from the U.S., Canada, Japan, Korea, France, Mexico, Cameroon, Wales, and Germany attended plenaries, workshops, keynote addresses, a Tech Field Day, videos, and a Biochar Banquet.
  • Simi Hoque, PhD, Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation

    Research Profile: Simi Hoque’s Urban Modeling

    October 13, 2013
    Dr. Simi Hoque is passionate about improving the ways in which buildings use the earth’s resources.  She teaches environmental systems and sustainable design principles in the Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass Amherst. Her research, partially funded by the Center’s Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station, is focused around the application and development of energy-efficient buildings. Dr. Hoque specializes in energy modeling, resource efficiency, and systems design. She is co-author of a recent online publication (October 2013) intended to provide a quantitative approach to assessing sustainability indicators in a city.
  • Kristen Hanley makes jams and jellies at Cold Spring Orchard

    Tasty Ways to Support Agricultural Research

    October 1, 2013
    Jams and Jellies and Fruit, Oh My! Kristen Hanley has always loved to preserve fresh food. She now parlays that love into delicious ways to extend the season for the fruits of UMass Amherst’s Cold Spring Orchard Horticultural Research Center in Belchertown, Mass., about 15 miles from the Amherst campus. If you visit the orchard, you can buy one of the 1,500 jars of mouth-watering jams and jellies that she has made this season; beware though, wait too long and they will be sold out, they always are. 
  • UMass Students Neev Blume and Cole Lanier lead tour of SFE

    First Tour of On-Campus Student Gardens a Success

    September 30, 2013
    UMass Amherst held its first Student Garden Tour on September 28, 2013 under brilliant skies.  Five unique gardens right on campus were hosted by the students who manage them.  One of our main goals was to make students aware of myriad opportunities for growing food without leaving campus. 
  • Soccer field

    Information on Nutrient Best Management Practices

    September 5, 2013
    UMass Extension has recently taken the opportunity to collect and update information about Nutrient Best Management Practices.
  • UMass Amherst Demonstration Gardens

    UMass Amherst: Our Not So Secret Gardens

    August 27, 2013
    A stunning floral display is ready for your viewing pleasure: the UMass Amherst Demonstration Gardens in front of Durfee Conservatory. This garden features several new annual plant cultivars recently introduced by plant breeders. The gardens are intended for observation of new plants under local growing conditions followed by reporting back to the breeders.
  • View of ALC from North Pleasant Street

    Master Plan Update for UMass Amherst Agricultural Learning Center

    August 14, 2013
    Master Plan Update for UMass Amherst Agricultural Learning Center It all starts with a vision. Several years ago, Dr. Stephen Herbert, Director of the UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture, began considering how to create a place for students interested in agriculture to “learn by doing” in a living outdoor laboratory. As the new ALC gains momentum, the university’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning (LARP) has contributed by developing a Master Plan for the Learning Center.
  • Frank Caruso with Ocean Spray actors

    Hero of the Bogs Retires

    July 11, 2013
    For the last thirty years or so, Frank Caruso has been the “go-to” guy for disease problems with the plants in your bogs, if you are one of those who farm the state berry of the Commonwealth. Last week, Dr. Caruso retired as Plant Pathologist with the UMass Cranberry Station in East Wareham. As late as his final days on the job, he was out in the bogs, looking at...
  • Cassie Sefton, UMass student intern plants urban garden at ALC

    Learning by Doing: Summer Internships at the Agricultural Learning Center

    July 9, 2013
    With memories of the April groundbreaking ceremony still in mind, the stakes are (literally) in the ground as farm work gets underway at the new Agricultural Learning Center (ALC) at the north edge of the Amherst campus. The purpose of the ALC is to train the next generation of farmers and other agricultural entrepreneurs by using a hands-on approach: translating classroom knowledge into practical experience in the fields.
  • Dr. Haim Gunner discovers and develops microorganism to protect plants

    Dr. Haim Gunner discovers and develops microorganism to protect plants

    May 29, 2013
    Microbiologist, Dr. Haim Gunner, professor emeritus at UMass Amherst has discovered and developed a microorganism that naturally combats fungus as part of an eco-management approach to plant disease protection.
  • Officials Break Ground for Agricultural Learning Center

    Groundbreaking Held for New University Ag Facility

    April 30, 2013
    Against the backdrop of a picture perfect spring day, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for UMass Amherst’s new Agricultural Learning Center on April 25 on the former Adams-Wysocki field at the north end of the campus.  The guests included farmers, students, university officials, legislative representatives, neighbors, current and former staff and agricultural dignitaries.
  • Center for Agriculture celebrates 150 years of agriculture

    April 20, 2013
    As part of the UMass Amherst Sesquicentennial, CNS and the Center for Agriculture are co-hosting a Celebration of Agriculture day on Thursday, April 25. CNS carries forward the national land-grant university tradition of agricultural research and education that began with the creation of Massachusetts Agricultural College on April 29, 1863.
  • Dr. Daniel Hillel

    More Crop Per Drop…

    April 2, 2013
    Former faculty member wins World Food Prize The World Food Prize, often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize for Agriculture’ was awarded to Dr. Daniel Hillel in 2012. Dr. Hillel was a professor of soil physics at UMass Amherst from 1977 to 1993.
  • Corraling cranberry harvest

    Massachusetts Cranberry Harvest Strong in Challenging Year

    January 5, 2013
    With this year’s final crop totals still being tallied, Massachusetts cranberry growers estimate they have harvested around two million barrels of fruit.
  • Peppers

    Learning the Science of Sustainable Vegetable Production

    November 16, 2012
    This fall, beginning farmers and established growers from across the state have gone back to school to learn the science of sustainable vegetable production.
  • Greenhouse Plants

    UMass Supports Regional Greenhouse Gathering

    November 16, 2012
    Every two years, professional greenhouse growers and garden retailers from throughout New England and New York gather at the Northeast Greenhouse Conference and Expo to learn about new developments in their field and products and equipment useful for their work.
  • Apples at Umass grading apples at Apples at Cold Spring Orchard Research and Education Center in Belchertown

    Good Season Despite Challenges

    November 15, 2012
    Cold Spring Orchard Farm Stand Prospers During Challenging Year Despite the challenges of a very late spring frost, the orchards, farm stand, and wholesale sales at Cold Spring Orchard Research and Education Center in Belchertown have had a good season.
  • Volunteers gleaning potatoes

    Many Hands Harvest UMass Researcher’s Potatoes to Feed Hungry Families

    November 14, 2012
    Thanks to the work of UMass researchers, 4-H members, volunteers, and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, hundreds of hungry families in western Mass. are receiving locally grown potatoes in time for their holiday meals.  
  • student working in field

    From Classroom to Cornfield

    October 30, 2012
    Farming Finds a New Home at the Agricultural Learning Center The 40-acre parcel of land formaly known as the Adams-Wysocki field is in the process of being transformed into the new Agricultural Learning Center, a working farm designed to give students hands-on training in everything from running a tractor to transplanting trees to making cheese from the milk of the cows they’ve raised.


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