Rutgers turfgrasses prized at Baltusrol, PGA event site

When the world’s top male golfers gather at the legendary Baltusrol Golf Club this week, they will be playing on numerous turfgrasses developed by Rutgers University.

Read the entire article at My Central Jersey »

Rutgers Equine Science Center kicks off 15 years of excellence

Close to 100 people attended the 2016 Rutgers Equine Science Center summer showcase in the kickoff celebration of the center’s 15-year anniversary… Welcoming remarks were given by Dr. Karyn Malinowski, director of the Equine Science Center, Dr. Wendie Cohick, chair of the Department of Animal Sciences, and Dr. Brad Hillman, senior associate director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and director of research. The event continued with the presentation of a Congressional Certificate from U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1) by Sharon Ortepio, chair of the Equine Advisory Board, a part of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. The center was honored with a ceremonial proclamation from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, sponsored by Lillian Burry.

Read the entire article at Greater Media Newspapers »

Rutgers Turfgrasses Prized at Baltusrol Golf Club, Host of 98th PGA Championship

When the world’s top male golfers gather at the legendary Baltusrol Golf Club this week, they will be playing on numerous turfgrasses developed by Rutgers University… Rutgers has a decades-long record of breeding and cultivating top-performing turfgrasses, according to Bruce B. Clarke, extension specialist in turfgrass pathology and director of Rutgers’ Center for Turfgrass Science, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary… To date, Rutgers has developed more than 400 varieties of turfgrasses and licensed them to more than 20 companies, according William A. Meyer, professor and director of turfgrass breeding at Rutgers… "Anywhere cool-season grasses are being grown in a sports stadium, there’s a very good possibility that it’s a Rutgers grass, maybe not the entire stadium, but part of it," said James A. Murphy, Rutgers’ extension specialist in turfgrass management. "It’s sold all over the world."

Read the entire article at Tap Into »

Sustainable Raritan River Collaborative Recognizes Eight Stewards of the Raritan River and Bay

2016 awardees, left to right. Front row: Walter Lane and Tara Kenyon of Somerset County Planning Division; Jim Waltman and Kate Hutelmyer of Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association; Bill Schultz, Raritan Riverkeeper; Rosana Da Silva and Chris Obropta of Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program; Julia Somers of the Highlands Coalition; Larry Jacobs and Beth Davisson; Eric Zwerling. Second row: Cody Obropta, Maithreyi Thukaram, Dominick Cardella, Tyler Obropta, Adam Cucchiara, Kaylene Campbell, Tekla Pontius-Courtney with Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program. Third row: Brittany Musolino, Erin Stretz and Mike Pisauro of Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association; Debbie Mans; Bill Kibler; Michael Catania. Not shown: Candace Ashmun. Photo credit: Nick Romanenko.

2016 awardees, left to right. Front row: Walter Lane and Tara Kenyon of Somerset County Planning Division; Jim Waltman and Kate Hutelmyer of Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association; Bill Schultz, Raritan Riverkeeper; Rosana Da Silva and Chris Obropta of Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program; Julia Somers of the Highlands Coalition; Larry Jacobs and Beth Davisson; and Eric Zwerling. Second row: Cody Obropta, Maithreyi Thukaram, Dominick Cardella, Tyler Obropta, Adam Cucchiara, Kaylene Campbell and Tekla Pontius-Courtney with Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program. Third row: Brittany Musolino, Erin Stretz and Mike Pisauro of Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association; Debbie Mans; Bill Kibler; and Michael Catania. Not shown: Candace Ashmun. Photo credit: Nick Romanenko.

Extension specialist Chris Obropta and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program Team, along with director of the Rutgers Noise Technical Assistance Center Eric Zwerling—in his capacity as a Readington Township Board of Education member and chairperson of the Green Committee—were among eight individuals and organizations to receive 2016 Sustainable Raritan River Awards at the 8th Annual Sustainable Raritan Conference and Awards Ceremony held at Rutgers on June 10.

“The purpose of these awards is to recognize some of the more creative and impressive accomplishments by genuine leaders throughout the Raritan Watershed,” said Michael Catania, executive director of Duke Farms Foundation and a member of the Sustainable Raritan Awards Committee.

Each year at its Annual Conference, the Sustainable Raritan River Collaborative and the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative give awards to recognize outstanding achievement in efforts to revitalize, restore and protect the Raritan resources and promote the area as a premiere place to live, work and raise a family.

Rutgers University launched the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative in 2009 to bring together concerned scientists, environmentalists, engineers, businesses, community leaders and governmental entities to craft an agenda that meets the goals of the U.S. Clean Water Act to restore and preserve New Jersey’s Raritan River, its tributaries and its bay. The Initiative, a joint program of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, partners with other Rutgers schools, centers and programs to ensure the best contributions from the sciences, planning and policy. [Read more…]

New peach and nectarine varieties help Eastern growers compete

Peach growers and shippers in the Northeast who market to large retailers are seeing increasing competition from shippers in California, Georgia, South Carolina and even countries in the Southern Hemisphere… Traditionally, the market has hung its hat on yellow-fleshed peaches, said Jerry Frecon, a Rutgers University emeritus professor  ‘said there are plenty of new peaches and nectarines being developed. Many in the Mid-Atlantic states are coming from Rutgers University’s Tree Fruit Breeding Program, under the direction of plant biology and pathology professor Joseph Goffreda, at Cream Ridge, New Jersey.

Read the entire article at Good Fruit Grower »

Program for Somerset County students harvests salads, and learning

This spring, the Seeds to Salads program run by the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Somerset County reaped in giant salads which fed more than 300 children, teachers, and Master Gardener volunteers. Volunteers in the program worked with third-graders at Whiton Elementary School in Branchburg, and with second-, third- and fourth-graders at Pine Grove Manor Elementary School in Franklin Township.

Read the entire article at My Central Jersey »

Rutgers Equine Science Center kicks off “15 Years of Excellence” Celebration

The 2016 Rutgers Equine Science Center Summer Showcase was deemed a huge success by organizers. Close to 100 people participated in the kickoff celebration of the Center’s 15-year anniversary… Welcoming remarks were given by Dr. Karyn Malinowski, Director of the Equine Science Center… The event continued with the presentation of a Congressional Certificate from U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (NJ-01), and presented by Ms. Sharon Ortepio, Chair of the Equine Advisory Board, a part of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

Read the entire article at NJ.com »

Rutgers Gardens: How Does Your Garden Grow?

Clever signage in the flower beds surrounding the Log Cabin at the annual RU Gardens Gala.

Clever signage in the flower beds surrounding the Log Cabin at the Rutgers Gardens.

As Rutgers Gardens celebrates its 100th anniversary, it’s the perfect time to look back at its roots, celebrate its growth and anticipate a new season for one of the university’s most beloved spaces.

Looking Back
Rutgers Gardens was never meant to be a public space. In fact, quite the opposite was true: according to director Bruce Crawford, the Gardens began as a purely functional learning space for local farmers. In the mid-1800s, ornamental horticulture was a new trend. “You didn’t really landscape your house back then,” quips Crawford. “Having plants and having the time to appreciate and cultivate them was completely new.” So when it became clear that New Jersey was about to experience a housing boom, it also became clear that New Jersey’s farmers—at that time, focused on dairy, poultry, and grain—weren’t prepared to offer the shrubs and trees that were suddenly in demand. The nursing industry simply did not exist.

Signage at the entrance to the Rutgers Gardens.

Signage at the entrance to the Rutgers Gardens.

“So, that instigated Rutgers to develop the Gardens,” explains Crawford. “The focus was really for farmers, and teaching them about this new field. “There’s no recorded history of when Gardens’ leadership finished their nursery mission and started to move on, nor do we know what they intended to move on to,” says Crawford. “We may not know how the evolution existed and, to this day, when you walk through the Gardens, you stumble onto this and that. [Read more…]

Strange contests abound at this year’s Warren County Farmers’ Fair

Summer is filled with fairs and festivals, each boasting competitions, carnival rides and famous fair food. But organizers of the Warren County Farmers’ Fair and Hot Air Balloon Festival hope its unique events combined with classic fair favorites will distinguish it… This year, the fair is putting an emphasis on safe canning practices thanks to the rise of recent trends in buying local produce and growing at home. Home canning is a way to help preserve food as well as create new dishes with fresh produce. The fair’s canning competition is encouraging fairgoers to try canning and, with the help of the Department of Family & Community Health Sciences of Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Warren County, do so safely.

Read the entire article at Lehigh Valley Live »

Precision Aerial Mosquito Control Made Possible by Rutgers’ ‘Skeetercopters’

Drone spraying salt marsh.

Unmanned aerial system (UAS) spraying a salt marsh in New Jersey.

In 1930, Rutgers University made the world’s first aerial application for mosquito control. These early experiments were ridiculed as ‘pie-in-the-sky’, but by 1947, a million acres of mosquito habitat were being treated annually by air. Today we stand at the edge of another technological revolution with transformational promise for mosquito control: unmanned aerial systems (UAS), that is, robotic aircraft or ‘drones’ controlled by computers. As we are increasingly challenged to diminish pesticide use for mosquito control, UAS offer potential for precision mosquito control. Local mosquito control agencies will use this emerging technology to target narrowly-defined areas, applying insecticides precisely where needed, thereby reducing time, money and environmental impact.

Rutgers has constructed several experimental drones for mosquito control, including a heavy-lift hexacopter built on a carbon-fiber airframe for less than $5,000. The aircraft are lifted and propelled by multiple electric motors and are virtually maintenance free. These ‘skeetercopters’ are equipped with an array of equipment, including sonar, barometer, magnetometer, gyros, camera, accelerometers, GPS, telemetry and more. A mission planner permits setting point-and-click GPS waypoints so missions are executed entirely autonomously including takeoff and ‘return to launch’ landing.

[Read more…]