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 $182,000 by the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Board.
The funding supports 12 projects — led by seven faculty, staff, and graduate-student researchers — designed to enhance insect and disease management and to improve production efficiency and fruit quality. Most of the researchers are stationed at Penn State’s Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville, PA.
“The Pennsylvania fruit industry is a vital source of jobs and income for the local and state economies, as well as a provider of nutritious and affordable food for consumers,” said Gary Thompson, the college’s associate dean for research and graduate education. “But it can’t remain so without ongoing research to solve the problems that threaten production and profitability.
“We are grateful for our partnership with the association and the growers it represents, and for their ongoing commitment of support,” he said.
What follows are the titles of the funded projects, with principal investigator and amounts:
- Assessment of Cross-Resistance to Site-Specific Fungicides in Populations of Venturia inaequalis (scab fungus) and Monilinia fructicola (brown rot fungus) in Pennsylvania Orchards, Noemi Halbrendt, senior research support associate in plant pathology, $25,800 (funding for year three of four).
- Impact of Summer Disease Management on Storage Rot of Apple, Noemi Halbrendt, $12,800 (year one of three).
- Understanding Biology and Behavior of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug as a Basis for Development of Management Programs in Fruit Orchards, Greg Krawczyk, senior research associate in entomology, $23,670 (year three of three).
- Implementation and Validation of a Network of Electronic Traps for Automated Monitoring of Insect Pest Populations in Apple Orchards, Greg Krawczyk, $9,000 (year one of two).
- Labor Efficient Apple and Peach Production Systems, James Schupp, associate professor of pomology, $8,615 (year six of seven).
- Crop Load and Fruit Nutrient Studies in Commercial Honeycrisp Orchards to Determine Best Practices for Minimizing Bitter Pit, James Schupp, $9,668 (year one of three).
- Establishing Biological Mite Control in Maryland Apple Orchards and Measuring the Impact of Some Insecticides Used for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Control on the Predatory Mite, Typhlodromus pyri, David Biddinger, senior research associate in entomology, $8,820 (one year).
- A Cooperative Survey to Determine the Importance of the Spotted Wing Drosophila and Other Invasive Fruit Flies in Various Tree and Small Fruit Crops in Pennsylvania and Maryland, David Biddinger, $22,560 (one year).
- Apple Rootstock and Cultivar Evaluations, Robert Crassweller, professor of tree fruit, $13,160 (year eight of 10).
- Second Generation Apple System Trials, Robert Crassweller, $8,713 (year six of 10).
- Development of Antibiotic Resistance in Bacterial Spot of Peach and Nectarine, Sarah Bardsley, doctoral candidate in plant pathology, $20,000 (one year).
- Development and Application of a Rapid Dye-Based Method to Determine Pesticide Resistance in Pre- and Postharvest Tree Fruit Pathogens, Kari Peter, assistant professor of tree fruit pathology, $20,000 (year one of three).