Fruit research and extension projects receive funding from industry groups

September 21, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Apple Program recently awarded nearly $233,000 in funding to support new and ongoing fruit research and extension projects in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

The grants will support projects aimed at enhancing pest management, production efficiency and fruit quality. Much of the work is conducted at Penn State's Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville, Adams County, in the heart of the state's primary fruit-growing region.

"The fruit industry is a critical part of Pennsylvania's agricultural economy and a source of healthy, affordable food for consumers," said Gary Thompson, the college's associate dean for research and graduate education. "To remain strong, it needs scientific knowledge to overcome insect pests, plant diseases, labor shortages and other challenges. We value our partnership with growers in addressing these issues and greatly appreciate their ongoing support for our research and extension programs."

Following are the titles of the funded Penn State research projects, with principal investigator and amounts:

— Utilization of insecticide treated nets as an alternative method to monitor and manage brown marmorated stink bug, Greg Krawczyk, extension tree fruit entomologist and research professor of entomology, $23,167 (funding for year one of two).

— Utilizing the samurai wasp as a potential control tool against brown marmorated stink bug, Hillary Peterson, graduate student in entomology, and Greg Krawczyk, extension tree fruit entomologist and research professor of entomology, $6,777 (year one of two).

— Strategic management of Golden Delicious and Gala apple crop load, James Schupp, professor of pomology, $10,161 (year two of two).

— Development of a high density, highly mechanized, pedestrian peach system, James Schupp, professor of pomology, $10,148 (year one of seven).

— Investigating the role of viruses in rapid apple decline, Kari Peter, assistant professor of tree fruit pathology, $23,558 (one year).

— Continuing the quest for fire blight management alternatives: Optimizing native bacterial antagonists and plant immune stimulation, Kari Peter, assistant professor of tree fruit pathology, $15,824 (one year).

— Assessment of resistance to pre- and postharvest site-specific fungicides in populations of Colletotrichum fioriniae (bitter rot fungus) in Pennsylvania orchards, Kari Peter, assistant professor of tree fruit pathology, $11,894 (one year).

— Apple rootstock and cultivar evaluations, Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture, $22,285 (year three of five).

— Third generation apple systems trials, Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture, $9,000 (year one of four).

— Effects of maintenance of training systems to a hedgerow, Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture, $13,753 (year one of four).

— Buy-and-fly orchard management using unmanned aircraft (UA), Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture, and Joseph Sommer, professor of mechanical engineering, $14,400 (year two of three).

— Understanding why biocontrol fails to protect against fire blight in the Eastern U.S., Kevin Hockett, assistant professor of microbial ecology, $16,562 (one year).

— A sensor-based irrigation test system for apple orchards, Long He, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, $14,024 (year one of two).

— Evaluation of effective canopy depths of apple trees for optimal machine sensing performance, Daeun Choi, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, $14,184 (year one of two).

— Monitoring and utilizing fruit maturity to improve harvest and storage disorders of Honeycrisp, Christopher Walsh, professor of horticulture, University of Maryland, with collaborators Tara Baugher, Penn State Extension tree fruit educator, Don Seifrit, Penn State Extension tree fruit educator, and Norma Young, Penn State Extension horticulture team marketing coordinator, $7,343.80 (year one of two).

Following are the titles of the funded Penn State Extension projects:

— Extending Cornell carbohydrate model to Pennsylvania growers for determining apple tree response to chemical thinners, Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture, $2,770 (continuing, year five).

— Validation of the model for predicting bitter pit in Honeycrisp apples, Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture, $2,124 (year one).

— The next generation of fruit growers: Building leadership and coalitions, Tara Baugher and Don Seifrit, Penn State Extension tree fruit educators, $6,000 (continuing, year 14).

— Hard cider business and production education and training, Carla Snyder, agricultural entrepreneurship and marketing extension educator, $4,000 (continuing, year three).

— Farm market innovation education and training, Tanya Lamo, agricultural entrepreneurship extension educator, $4,800 (year one).

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 21, 2018