CALS in the News-January 2024

Megaphone shouting news about agriculture.

The Vermont Agrivoltaic Project was highlighted in this article from Clean Technica about growing saffron in the shade of solar panels. UVM saffron expert Arash Ghalehgolabbehbahani, along with researchers Bruce L. Parker and Margaret Skinner are mentioned in the article.

UVM will study the sustainability of Vermont’s maple industry, and its impact on the climate. The research will include experts in economics, forestry, natural resource management and community development, as well as maple syrup producers. Mark Isselhardt was interviewed by Vermont Public for the article.

The Maple Sustainability Indicators project, funded through the UVM Food Systems Research Center’s sustainability metrics grant, will develop a framework of indicators to evaluate the sustainability of the maple sector. The story was published on the UVM website

Heather Darby was quoted in FoodPrint about the renaissance of the grain rye both for its unique flavor and culinary applications, “but also all of its regenerative agriculture properties that make it a great crop for farmers during climate change.”

UVM Extension’s Heather Darby was interviewed by WCAX about excess manure and how it is causing problems for farmers.

The Fence Post published an announcement from the board of the National Institute of Animal Agriculture (NIAA) that recently approved forming a new council: the Animal Disease Issues & Emergency Management Council. Julie Smith, Animal and Veterinary Sciences research professor, was appointed as co-chair of the new council.

The online UVM Extension Master Gardener Helpline is open 24/7/365. The Manchester Journal wrote about the more than 30 specially trained Extension Master Garden volunteers from across Vermont that staff the Helpline to answer gardening and composting questions from the public at no charge.

Cornell University, the University of Vermont and the University of Maine have joined forces to offer a 7-week series in scouting for disease, insect and weed pests of greenhouse ornamentals. Morning Ag Clips lists the link for more information and to register.

In an article from VTDigger, UVM’s Samantha Alger, who researches bee health in Vermont, was quoted about the reaction beekeepers are having to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture report on bee industry in the state.

UVM Extension’s Northwest Crops & Soils Team will co-host the 2023 North American Manure Expo with Cornell Pro-Dairy. The expo will be held from July 17 to 18 in Auburn (Aurelius), NY at Patterson Farms. Check the Farm Progress article for more information.

Morning Ag Clips announced the Delmarva Soil Summit on Tuesday, Feb. 6, and Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury, Maryland. UVM Extension’s Heather Darby will be a keynote speaker.

WCAX spoke with UVM Extension’s Mark Isselhardt about the impact of warmer temperatures on the timing for tapping trees for maple sap.

UVM Extension’s Mark Isselhardt was mentioned in a VTDigger article about a request to the Vermont Legislature by the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association to provide direct funding for its organization and more technical assistance for producers.

UVM Extension’s Joshua Faulkner is working with a dairy farm in Panton, Vermont that lost a high-profile case about farm runoff last year, and is now in contempt of court for failing to divert water flowing onto a neighbor’s property. VTDigger stated that Faulkner has been experimenting on the farm with a tool that could regulate and slow the flow of the water coming off the farm’s tile drains.

Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences’ Meredith Niles is a co-author on a research publication in Ecology and Society entitled, Individual and collective political efficacy predict farmer engagement and support for groundwater policies: implications from the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Professor of Agroecology and Environmental Studies Ernesto Méndez was quoted in Reasons to be Cheerful article entitled, “Pre-Pesticides, Pro-Farmer: The Rise of Agroecology,” about agroecology having a huge role to play in both mitigating climate change and promoting climate justice.

The Rutland Herald announced a Vermont 4-H and UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences sponsored event for Grade 5-10 students interested in engineering. Discover Engineering will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 17, on the UVM campus.

An article in the Saint Albans Messenger by UVM Extension Master Gardener Amy Simone makes recommendations on how to get a head start on the growing season.

UVM Extension Forest Pest Educator Ginger Nickerson recommends in a Bennington Banner article that when working in their sugarbush this winter, maple producers are encouraged to be on the lookout for signs of the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB).

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