Shober offered position in Nutrient Management and Environmental Quality

March 30, 2012 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

Amy Shober has been offered the position of Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor for Nutrient Management and Environmental Quality for the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Her expertise is in nutrient management and soil fertility.

Shober is currently an associate professor in the Soil and Water Science Department at the University of Florida. She earned both a bachelor of science degree in environmental science and a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1998. Shober received her master’s degree in soil science from Pennsylvania State University in 2002 and her doctorate in plant and soil science from the University of Delaware in 2006.

Shober’s new position will include working with nutrient management issues such as nutrient runoff and water quality issues that impact the Delaware inland bays and the Chesapeake Bay.  She plans to begin work at CANR on September 1, 2012.


Jack Gelb awarded 2012 Worrilow Award

January 23, 2012 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

Worrilow Award winners (from left to right) Ted Haas(2001), Wesley Towers (1990), Jack Gelb (2012), U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, Walter Hopkins (1997), Joanne Whalen (2011), Buzz Klopp (2000) and Ed Kee (1995). Present but not pictured was Keith Carlisle (1998).

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper spoke to a large gathering at University of Delaware Cooperative Extension’s Friends of Ag Breakfast in Harrington on Friday, Jan. 20, concluding a successful Delaware Ag Week. The breakfast also served as the occasion to present the 2012 George M. Worrilow Award to UD’s Jack Gelb, Jr.

Gelb is chair of UD’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences and director of the Avian Bioscience Center in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR).

The award is presented annually by the UD Agricultural Alumni Association to an individual, in recognition of exemplary service to agriculture. The honor is named for Dr. George M. Worrilow, who served as dean of the college from 1954 to 1965.

Past Worrilow Award honorees Ted Haas (2001) and Spangler (Buzz) Klopp (2000) saluted Gelb’s five decades of excellence and his significant contributions to CANR, Delaware agriculture and, in particular, to the Delmarva poultry Industry.

“Jack is known to Delaware, nationally and internationally for his research and emphasis in avian respiratory diseases, avian influenza, and for his major role in the discovery of Gumboro Disease,” Klopp said.

The economic benefits of his research have been significant, saving the Delaware poultry economy $250,000 a week, Klopp told the large audience.

“This is an incredible honor for me,” Gelb said. “I did not have the opportunity to meet this fine gentleman (George Worrilow) but I have heard so many stories how he set things up and got things done. He inspired people about agriculture. That’s what it is all about, isn’t it?”

At UD, Gelb earned a bachelor’s degree in entomology in 1974 and a master’s degree in animal virology in 1976. He received his doctorate in microbiology and avian medicine from the University of Georgia.

“I came to the college in the 1970s, riding that first ecology wave and then, as now, students were welcomed, nurtured and developed there,” Gelb said.

He recalled, “As students, we got to work with leading veterinarians and researchers and work with farmers directly.”

Gelb marveled at the value of being able to put what was learned in the classroom and lab to practical use in the field.

Remarks on behalf of Gov. Markell

Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee, former UD Extension specialist and Worrilow Award recipient in 1995, brought remarks from Gov. Jack Markell and kudos for Gelb.

Kee said previous recipients review the resumes and make recommendations for the award. “You set a high bar,” Kee said.

Kee shared remarks of behalf of the governor and the administration’s efforts to promote Delaware agriculture and its continued competitiveness in a global market.

“Gov. Markell appreciates the economic importance of agriculture, as a way of life and for the cultural traditions that are a part of Delaware,” Kee said.

Kee cited the success of the Young Farmer’s Program, which offers zero percent interest to enable the purchase of land and assists the next generation of farmers in the settlement process.

“The governor understands the need to sustain our profitability and keep on the competitive edge in ag,” Kee said.

Through a strategic fund, the Markell administration supports infrastructure and businesses that are agricultural fixtures in Delaware, including Perdue, Mountaire, Vlasic and Hanover. “We want to keep them here and allow them to compete in a global economy,” Kee said.

At the breakfast Kee shared that Markell acknowledged the Delaware Rural Irrigation Program (DRIP) in his recent State of the State address. Through the investment of strategic funds, Delaware farmers are able to invest in new irrigation systems. In the past, Delaware has gone from 25,000 acres to 130,000 acres of irrigated cropland. “Farmers made that investment. That is why agriculture works in Delaware,” he said.

Nutrient management

Also at the event, Carper saluted Delaware agriculture and its willingness to face inland bay pollution head on by taking the lead in the formation of the Nutrient Management Commission in the 1990s.

Dave Baker, chair of the commission, and William Vanderwende, vice-chair, were recognized for their efforts and were presented with framed copies of Congressional Record statements issued on Dec. 14, 2011.

“In our state the ag community stood up really tall,” Carper said. He recognized the leadership of Baker and other farmers who created an enviable model for the nation to follow.

“It is incredible what you put into it,” Carper said. “It is amazing what we accomplish when we work together.”

Article by Michele Walfred, also viewable on UDaily


CANR holds symposium addressing global nutrient management issues

September 28, 2011 under CANR News

The University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources hosted the fourth international symposium focusing on “Global Issues in Nutrient Management: Science, Technology and Policy,” from Aug. 21-24. Previous symposia were held in the Netherlands and China, hosted by Wageningnen University and China Agricultural University.

The international symposium addressed global issues and trends in nutrient management and focused on how agricultural management practices, technological advances and global or regional policies affect both nutrient use efficiency in the food chain and the quality of the environment in different parts of the world. More than 100 participants from six different countries attended the symposium.

Themes of the symposium included worldwide challenges in the management of nutrients to produce a safe and secure food supply while protecting the quality of the global environment; a focus on current issues and trends in nutrient management in China, the European Union and the United States; advances in nutrient management science and technology and the adaptation of recent innovations to meet global needs; and developing national and international policies for nutrient management in today’s rapidly changing global economy.

This year’s plenary speaker was Oene Oenema, a professor at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and an internationally recognized expert in the field of nutrient management and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, who said that he thought “there were very high quality presentations” at this year’s symposium.

Oenema arrived for the symposium a day early and was able to walk around the UD campus, which he described as looking “very rich, clean, new, and well maintained.”

Anjan Datta, program officer of the United Nations Environment Program who currently leads the Secretariat of the Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM), also spoke at the symposium and he said that he thought the symposium offered a great “exchange of information” among experts doing research in different parts of the world. Dutta said that he thought “listening to and learning from different cases” was a very beneficial aspect of the symposium.

Participants spent four days listening to and participating in talks on diverse topics ranging from “Advances in Nutrient Management for Major Crops in China” to “Nutrient Management Challenges in Africa: Nutrient Scarcity and Soil Degradation Endanger Food Security.” During the symposium, participants were able to engage in discussions and debate a wide range of topics related to nutrient management science, technology and policy.

One highlight of the symposium included a keynote panel discussing the “Nutrient Management Challenges and Progress in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.” Panel participants included members from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Delaware Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania State University, and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).

After listening to the keynote panel on Monday, the participants spent the last day of the symposium taking an up close look at the Chesapeake Bay, a highlight that was thoroughly appreciated, said one of the keynote speakers, Phil Jordan, principal scientist on the Agricultural Catchments Program for Teagasc, the agriculture and food development authority in Ireland, and a faculty member in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Ulster.

Jordan said he enjoyed the symposium for the range of topics presented from around the world. He added that he relished the opportunity to take a tour of the Chesapeake Bay as part of the symposium because “I heard a lot of the research [on the Chesapeake Bay] over the years so it’s nice to see these places rather than just read about them.”

The symposium was co-sponsored by UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the University of Pennsylvania, the Delaware Environmental Institute, China Agricultural University, Wageningen University, and UD’s Institute for Global Studies.

Article by Adam Thomas

Photos by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily > >


Corn Hybrid Trial Tour, Meeting

August 16, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

All farmers and crop advisers are invited to attend the University of Delaware corn hybrid variety trial and twilight meeting on September 1, 2011. The corn hybrid plots will be open for viewing at this irrigated location starting at 4:00 p.m. Extension specialists will be on hand to discuss insect pest management in corn, management of diseases commonly found in our area, and weed control issues. Optimizing nutrient applications in corn will also be discussed. Dinner will be provided. CCA, DE Nutrient Management, and DE Pesticide credits will be available. Contact Phillip Sylvester, Extension Ag Agent, Kent County, with questions at 302-730-4000 or email at

When: Thursday, September 1, 2011
Time: 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Location: Dickerson Farms, 1730 Bayside Drive, Dover, DE (From Rt.1, take the Rt. 9 exit towards Little Creek. Farm entrance is on the right after Bergold Lane.)
Registration: Please RSVP by calling (302)-730-4000 by August 29 or email Phillip Sylvester

4:00 to 5:30 Sign-in and Tour Corn Hybrid Plots, Dr. Richard Taylor, Extension Agronomist and Tecle Weldekidan, Scientist, UD
5:30 to 6:00 Dinner
6:00 to 6:20 Late season insect pest update, Joanne Whalen, Extension IPM Specialist, UD
6:20 to 6:40 Common corn diseases in Delaware, Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist, UD
6:40 to 7:00 Weed control issues in corn, Dr. Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist, UD
7:00 to 7:30 Optimizing nutrient applications in corn, Dr. Greg Binford, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist of Soil Fertility, UD

Submitted by Phillip Sylvester


UD to host symposium on nutrient management science, technology, policy

May 31, 2011 under CANR News

The fourth annual international symposium addressing global issues and trends in nutrient management will be held at the University of Delaware, Aug. 21-24.

The symposium focuses on how agricultural management practices, technological advances and global or regional priorities affect both nutrient use efficiency in the food chain, and the quality of our environment in different regions of the world.

Key themes of the symposium include:

  • Worldwide challenges in the management of nutrients to produce a safe and secure food supply while protecting the quality of the global environment.
  • Focus on current issues and trends in nutrient management in China, the European Union, and the United States.
  • Advances in nutrient management science and technology, and adapting recent innovations to meet global needs.
  • Developing national and international policies for nutrient management in today’s rapidly changing global economy.

The symposium is co-sponsored by the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), Delaware Environmental Institute, China Agricultural University (CAU), and Wageningen University.

For more information or to register, visit the symposium website.

The deadline for abstract submissions is July 1. The deadline for registration is Aug. 1.

The symposium is the most recent joint project conducted between CANR and CAU since the two universities signed a general agreement of cooperation in 2008. To date numerous scientists from UD and CAU have participated exchange programs, and have participated in joint workshops and conferences.

For more on the partnership, see the articles in UDaily and the UD Research magazine.


Iraq delegation learns about agriculture in the U.S.

May 13, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

Six representatives of Iraq’s Ministry of Agriculture visited facilities of the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) last month to learn more about agriculture in the U.S., with presentations ranging from environmental safeguards to poultry disease control.

The Iraq delegation toured the CANR dairy farm on the Newark campus and the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown on April 8.

At the CANR dairy farm, the group learned about the use of environmentally sound management practices that sustain productivity and protect water quality.

They also examined how the CANR farm implements a comprehensive nutrient management plan that addresses nutrient balance and best management practices in order to use fertilizers and manures in a manner that optimizes plant and animal productivity and protects air, soil and water quality.

The delegation traveled to the Carvel Center for a presentation on how research and Cooperative Extension come together in a working agriculture experimental substation.

Read more at UDaily > >

Article by Adam Thomas and Michele Walfred

Photos by Michele Walfred


CANR promotes nutrient management, water quality efforts in China

November 10, 2010 under CANR News

The University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) has recently taken a leadership role in organizing and presenting at two international symposia in Beijing, China. Through an ongoing partnership with China Agricultural University (CAU), CANR officials say they hope to provide sound advice and direction for the latest agricultural issues in China.

In 2008, UD signed an agreement with CAU and the University of Pennsylvania Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, to participate in joint research and exchange activities.

The fourth International Symposium on Phosphorus Dynamic in the Soil-Plant Continuum (ISPDSPC) provided a forum for international scientists to share their latest research findings and knowledge on phosphorus dynamics and management in food-producing and other managed and unmanaged ecosystems.

At this conference, keynote speeches were given by Donald Sparks, S. Hallock du Pont Chair of Soil Chemistry, and Tom Sims, deputy dean of CANR and T. A. Baker Professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry.

Sims was a part of the international steering committee for this event. There were approximately 300 people in attendance.

Following ISPDSPC was the third International Workshop on Nutrient Management Technology and Policy, which was hosted by CAU and UD, and also joined by Wageningen University and Research Centre of the Netherlands.

Sims presented a keynote talk entitled “Nutrient Management Strategies in the USA: Integrating Science, Policy, and Management to Sustain Agricultural Productivity and Protect the Environment.”

David Hansen, associate professor of soil and environmental quality and Cooperative Extension specialist for nutrient management, spoke about the issues related to the development of a comprehensive nutrient management training program in China.

This conference also provided CAU graduate students with a training course on nutrient management tools and nutrient balance at different scales. U.S. and European experts alike shared their experiences with and how to improve upon best nutrient management practices and policies.

After the conference in Beijing, CAU hosted a tour of the new Quzhou agricultural research center, where a large-scale Chinese project focused on improving nutrient management, protecting water quality, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is now underway.

“At CANR, our nutrient management efforts have been recognized globally,” Sims said. “By using our years of research and extension experience on nutrient management in Delaware and Pennsylvania, we hope to put China’s researchers in a better position to solve their agri-environmental problems.”

In August 2011, the fourth International Workshop on Nutrient Management Technology and Policy will be hosted at UD. For more information about this workshop, see the Global Partnership on Nutrient Management website.

Article by Rachael Dubinsky

This article can also be read on UDaily by clicking here.


Nov. 10: UD, state to host issues forum about Chesapeake Bay

November 3, 2010 under CANR News, Events

The Chesapeake Bay is a national focal point for water quality issues. New environmental regulations will require Delaware and the other five bay states — Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York — and the District of Columbia to significantly reduce pollution entering the bay and its tributaries.

These rigorous federal and state program aims to restore the bay’s water quality by 2025.

Because the two main pollutants that are under consideration are nitrogen and phosphorous, agricultural entities in Delaware and the other bay states have a vital role in this process.

On Wednesday, Nov. 10, Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, the Delaware Department of Agriculture and the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will host an agricultural issues forum to address agricultural and environmental concerns surrounding the health of the Chesapeake Bay as it relates to water quality.

“The Intersection of Agriculture, the Environment and the Chesapeake Bay” will be held in the Trabant University Center Multipurpose Room A from 7-9 p.m.

“The goal of this event is to bring awareness to one of the major environmental issues in our area,” says Craig Parker, president of Alpha Gamma Rho. “We hope that UD students, faculty, and other community members will join us to learn about the issues from everyone involved.”

The program will be moderated by Ed Kee, secretary of the Delaware Department of Agriculture, who is also a CANR alumnus and former UD employee.

Kee will be joined by science and regulatory advisors Rick Batiuk, science adviser for the Chesapeake Bay Program, and Kathy Bunting-Howarth, director of the Division of Water at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Industry and government panelists for the evening include:

* Steve Schwalb, vice president, Environmental Sustainability, Perdue Farms;
* Shawn Garvin, regional administrator for Region III, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
* Dave Baker, farmer and member of Delaware Nutrient Management Commission; and
* Jim Borel, executive vice president, DuPont.

The forum will conclude with networking and free UDairy Creamery ice cream.

For more information call (302) 831-1355 or send email to [].


May 26: Agronomic Crop Grower Meeting

May 6, 2010 under CANR News

Join your fellow producers and the UD Extension team for an overview of University of Delaware’s Demonstration Plots at the Marl Pit Road Demonstration Site. We’ll cover highlights on grain marketing, nutrient management and pest management, as well. We will apply for DE Pesticide and Nutrient Management re-certification credits and Certified Crop Advisor credits. This meeting is free and everyone interested in attending is welcome.

When: Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Where: UD Cooperative Extension Research and Demonstration Area (3/4 mile east of Armstrong Corner, on Marl Pit Rd. – Road 429, Middletown)

Time: 6:00 to 8:00 PM

Bring: A tailgate or a lawn chair

To register, request more information or require special needs assistance for this meeting, please call our office in advance at (302) 831-2506.