On a sunny afternoon in May, the contenders, each plant about 4 inches tall, were growing in a greenhouse in a rural stretch of Cumberland County. A hanging thermometer said the temperature indoors had reached 85 degrees. “This is about as warm as you want it to get,” said Tom Orton, the plant breeder here at the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center farm in Upper Deerfield, looking protectively over his seedlings. Orton has a PhD. in plant genetics and tends to talk like a scientist, but he can speak tenderly, almost anthropomorphically, about tomatoes.
Archives for July 2014
The muggy weather is creating a “perfect storm” for mosquitoes to descend on our gardens. But the latest high-tech weapon in the battle against the bloodsuckers doesn’t come in the form or a spray or clip, instead it’s a free app on your smartphone. Anti-mosquito apps emit ultrasonic frequencies designed to frighten the mosquitoes away…The Liverpool researchers added that “male mosquitoes are actually the ones attracted by the female flight sound, and females normally have a very weak sensitivity for sound compared with the males.” Wayne Crans, Associate Research Professor in Entomology at Rutgers added mosquitoes are also not known to leave areas hunted by dragonflies.
The ever-popular annual Great Tomato Tasting at Snyder Farm continues to grow and expand, and this year there will be more to experience than ever. Hosted by Rutgers Snyder Research Farm in Pittstown, the event will take place on Wednesday, August 27 from 3 to 7:30 p.m. In addition to the 80 varieties of tomatoes […]
China has been scrambling to right its gargantuan processed-food ship ever since six infants died and thousands more were hospitalized with kidney damage in 2008 from milk adulterated with an industrial chemical. But as the latest scandal involving spoiled meat in fast-food shows, the attempted transformation over the last six years has run up against the country’s centuries-old and sprawling food supply chain…”The way I keep explaining China to people is that it’s kind of like the U.S. in the time of Upton Sinclair and ‘The Jungle,'”; said Don Schaffner, a professor of food microbiology at Rutgers University and president of the International Association for Food Protection, referring to the 1906 novel that described unsanitary conditions in the meatpacking industry and inspired reform. “There is tremendous desire by the Chinese to get it right, but they have a long way to go.”
Professor Emeritus of Plant Breeding and Genetics Bernard “Bernie” Pollack passed away on July 14, at the age of 94. Pollack joined Rutgers in 1960 as faculty in the Department of Horticulture and Forestry and retired in 1985. While his work in vegetable breeding extended to eggplant, pepper and tomatoes, Pollack is most renowned for […]
Standing over more than 150 pounds of fresh peaches Wednesday, Gloucester County’s Master Gardeners started a sweet and sticky assembly line…Twenty-four hours later, their prepped peaches would be part of a 250-pound peach shortcake recognized by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture as the state’s largest birthday cake. The peach cake, baked and assembled by Liscio’s Bakery in Glassboro, will debut Thursday at opening ceremonies of the Gloucester County 4-H Fair and New Jersey Peach Festival in Mullica Hill…The peach-filled mega-pastry marks the 100th anniversary of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, the organization that oversees the Master Gardener program and 4-H throughout the state. “We wanted to do something fun and festive,” said Luanne Hughes, an RCE health sciences educator.
Two years after hearing a scientist’s dire warning on Barnegat Bay, New Jersey lawmakers heard how the bay’s degradation appears to be spreading south from Ocean County’s biggest suburbs. The northern end of the 42-mile-long estuary already has crippled water quality, a trend that has accelerated during the last 20 years, Rutgers University research professor Michael Kennish told a joint meeting of the Legislature’s environment committees. “The situation has not gotten better; it’s gotten worse in term of nutrients,” said Kennish, who leads the university’s Barnegat Bay science efforts and is an author of a recently updated report on the bay’s conditions.
The night was still young and a tad too breezy. But already, more than a hundred people were gathered around a series of fluttering, black-lighted sheets in the middle of the New Jersey Meadowlands, waiting for their quarry. They were looking for the nocturnal members of the order Lepidoptera, at one of dozens of events organized in the New York region as part of National Moth Week…For the organizers, the moth events are a way to dispel some of the myths about moths – that they are brown and drab, that they eat tomato plants and nibble at sweaters. “Only a very few are pests,” said Elena Tartaglia, who has a Ph.D. in ecology and evolution from Rutgers University and specializes in hawk moths.
This is the caterpillar of an Io moth, a species of silk moth that so intrigues entomologist Andrei Sourakov that he’s endured a number of the larva’s bee-like stings while studying various specimens…The Io moth also symbolizes this year&…
For at least two decades, scientists have known that Barnegat Bay is dying and that an overabundance of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus is what’s killing it. But what they haven’t known is how much of those nutrients the bay can accept without continuing that downward spiral. But a Rutgers University professor told a state legislative panel on Monday that he helped determine those limits and he urged lawmakers to take action on them to save the popular recreational and commercial waterway. “We have a lot of confidence in what we’ve done,” Michael Kennish, professor of estuarine and marine ecology at Rutgers University told a joint meeting of Senate and Assembly environmental committees today in Toms River.