Jun 13, 2019
Groups award funding for Penn State fruit research, Extension projects

New and ongoing tree-fruit research in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences received a boost with the recent awarding of funds totaling more than $261,000 by the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Apple Program.

According to Bruce Hollabaugh and Tad Kuntz, chairs of the horticultural association research and extension committees, respectively, the funding supports 19 research projects and six extension projects, all aimed at helping regional tree fruit producers improve production efficiency and fruit quality.

Most of the researchers are stationed 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 landscape, providing nutritious and delicious foods for consumers and jobs and income for thousands of workers,” said Gary Thompson, the college’s associate dean for research and graduate education.

“For the industry to remain strong, ongoing research is needed to tackle challenges and develop new technologies and practices to prevent disease and protect crops. We are grateful for the association’s continued support of research in our college as we work together in advancing the industry.”

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

Funded research projects

–Utilizing the samurai wasp as a potential control tool against brown marmorated stink bug, Greg Krawczyk, Extension tree fruit entomologist and research professor of entomology, $9,954 (funding for year two of two). 

–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, $28,777 (funding for year two of two). 

–Branch and fruit accessibility for mechanical operations with various tree canopies, Long He, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, $11,744 (funding for year one of two).

–A sensor-based irrigation test system for apple orchards, Long He, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, $13,244, (funding for year two of two). 

–Optimizing fire blight control alternatives: Non-antibiotic blossom protection and full season shoot blight management, Kari Peter, assistant professor of tree fruit pathology, $12,344 (funding for year one of one). 

–Investigating and understanding different sources for fruit rot fungi in the packhouse and field to better control postharvest decay of stored apple fruit, Kari Peter, assistant professor of tree fruit pathology, $16,500 (funding for year one of one). 

–Investigating the role of viruses and other causes in rapid apple decline, Kari Peter, assistant professor of tree fruit pathology, $7,500 (funding for year one of one).

–Completing the picture: Characterizing bitter rot fungal isolates and verification of lab results with field trials, Kari Peter, assistant professor of tree fruit pathology, $11,000 (funding for year one of one).

–Third-generation apple system trials, Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture, $9,600 (funding for year two of five). 

–Effects of maintenance on training systems to a hedgerow, Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture, $9,100 (funding for year two of five).

–Buy-and-fly orchard management using unmanned aircraft (UA), Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture, $16,000 (funding for year three of three).

–Evaluation of effective canopy depths of apple trees for optimal machine-sensing performance, Daeun Choi, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, $12,885 (funding for year two of two).

–Soil amendments for blueberry plant establishment and variety trial, Rich Marini, professor of horticulture, $4,534 (funding for year five of five). 

–Development of a high density, highly mechanized, pedestrian-production system, James Schupp, professor of pomology, $10,691 (funding for year two of seven).    

–Development of a high accuracy digital model for orchard sites, improving rootstock performance with terrain analysis using drone technology and geographical information systems, James Schupp, professor of pomology, $8,931 (funding for year one of one).

–Blossom thinning Pennsylvania apples using the pollen tube growth model, James Schupp, professor of pomology, $8,789 (funding for year one of two).

–Apple rootstock and cultivar evaluations, James Schupp, professor of pomology, $20,810 (funding for year four of six).

–Combating Listeria monocytogenes growth in tree-fruit packinghouse biofilms, Jasna Kovac, assistant professor of food science, $16,486 (funding for year one of one). 

–Monitoring and utilizing fruit maturity to improve harvest and storage decisions of new apple cultivars and reduce storage disorders of honeycrisp, Chris Walsh, pomologist, University of Maryland, and Tara Baugher, Penn State Extension tree fruit educator, $7,343.80 (funding for year two of two). 

Funded Extension projects

 –Affordable on-farm airblast and boom sprayer calibration program, Jon Johnson, director of pesticide education, $5,000 (continuing, year eight).

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

–Extending Cornell carbohydrate model to Pennsylvania growers for determining apple tree response to chemical thinners for 2018, Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture, $3,255 (continuing, year six).

–The next generation of fruit growers — building leadership and coalitions, Don Seifrit, Penn State Extension tree fruit educator, $4,000 (continuing, year 15).

 

–High density pear tour in southern and southeastern Pennsylvania, Don Seifrit, Penn State Extension tree fruit educator, $3,500 (year one).

 

–Demonstrating and evaluating the cyclone vacuum apple harvester, Daniel Weber, Penn State Extension tree fruit educator, $4,370 (year one).

 





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