Agroforestry Advancement

Silvopasture is one of several agroforestry techniques gaining ground with the agricultural community in this country. This method involves the intentional integration of trees and forage with livestock pastures. The benefit to landowners is increased productivity of pasture land; both livestock and timber can be produced on a parcel. There are environmental benefits as well;…

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Soil Struggle

Soil is the basic foundation for life on this planet; crops, livestock, wildlife and clean water all depend on it. Our soils are currently threatened by a myriad of reasons, not the least of which include deforestation, modern agricultural techniques, development and overgrazing. Data from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) indicates that over half the world’s topsoil…

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Plum Pox Predicament

Plum Pox Virus (PPV) is a pathogen with the potential to devastate populations of peach, plum and other stone fruit trees. The United States and Canada maintain strict protocols and implement zero tolerance regarding discoveries of PPV in any nurseries or orchards. Aggressive and effective, but costly, eradication efforts have taken place in Pennsylvania, New…

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Strength for Salinity

With the highest, concentrated populations living along coastlines it is important that our landscape plants be tolerant of higher soil salinity, salt spray and drift. A major component of salt is concentrated sodium, which is damaging to plant tissue, both foliage and roots. Very high salinity levels can stunt plant growth, even killing some plants. If excessive…

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Rose Rosette Research

Rose rosette is a novel threat to seemingly all cultivars of roses, even those previously known and used specifically for their disease resistance. Symptoms include: increased shoot elongation, reddish discoloration of shoots and foliage, abundant clustering of small shoots (also called “witches broom”), spiraling growth of main stem, less space between leaf shoots, distorted leaves, prolific…

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Plant Pathogen Proliferation

The pathogen that causes boxwood blight, Calonectria pseudonaviculata, is able to infect every species in the Buxaceae family. A recent article in Plant Health Progress, authored by Dr. Jim LaMondia of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES), states that both Allegheny spurge, Pachysandra procumbens, and the more commonly planted Japanese spurge, Pachysandra terminalis, are potential hosts for…

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Terrifying Trees

In honor of creepiest, scariest night of the year this post will pay tribute to some of the most horrifyingly poisonous plants on the planet. Terrifying trees and plants have long played a part in the imagination of humans, from the 1800s when rumors of a man-eating tree received widespread public attention to the more recent and infamous…

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Pollinator Provisions

Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) have been awarded a 6.9 million dollar grant by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop sustainable pollination strategies for the country’s specialty crops. In this country specialty crops account for 50 billion dollars per year for the agricultural industry and pollination is critical to fruit set…

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