Wehner Honored with Career Award

Dr. Todd C. WehnerDr. Todd Wehner was presented with the career award at the international meeting of EUCARPIA VI, the European plant breeding organization, in Warsaw, Poland.

Dr. Todd C. Wehner is leader of the cucumber and watermelon breeding project at North Carolina State University-Raleigh. He also does research on melon and Asian gourds. His research has emphasized improved selection methods; recurrent selection for fruit yield, earliness and quality; resistance to chilling, nematodes, anthracnose, belly rot, gummy stem blight, powdery mildew, downy mildew and potyviruses; and germplasm evaluation. His objectives are to provide industry with new traits for the development of improved cultivars, research information, and graduate students who can run field plant breeding programs. Continue reading

Sweet Potato Sequencing Effort Aims to Improve Food Security

Dr. Bode Olukolu

Craig Yencho and Bode Olukolu Win 2017 Agricultural Greater Good Initiative Grant

Since 2011, the Agricultural Greater Good Initiative has awarded grants of Illumina products to researchers using Illumina technology to tackle diverse genomics-oriented projects aimed at alleviating global hunger, malnutrition, and poverty in the developing world. Supported research projects have spanned the globe and the spectrum of scientific discovery improving studies of agriculturally important plants and animals that are commonly consumed by food insecure populations. Continue reading

Barking Up The Right Tree

Aged pine bark is the one of the most common organic substrate components in the US, with bark from loblolly and longleaf pines being the most prominent in the southern U.S.  Aging is a modified composting process (no nitrogen source added) in which the bark is piled on the ground in windrows and allowed to age for a period of time, usually six months to one year. Aging time can vary between suppliers, or even for the same supplier, based on factors such as space shortages, product demand, or preference. The resulting end-products from these various procedures are all sold to the consumer as the same product, but are completely different in terms of percent fines, water holding capacity, air space, and nutrient immobilization, which will cause them to act differently when used in a growing mix. Fresh bark (bark that is sold shortly after removal from a tree, then ground, and screened to an appropriate particle size), may also be sold as a growing mix, and is preferred by some growers. Continue reading