Article by Haiying Tao, PhD, UConn Assistant Professor, Soil Fertility & Health
While we all are aware that the big three, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are needed for healthy plants, many of us don’t give much thought to the dozen or so trace elements that while needed in tiny quantities are also vital to good plant growth. One of them is chloride (Cl) which is needed for photosynthesis in plants. Cl is an essential anion in maintaining electoral balance in tonoplasts and cell turgor in stomates, which is important in nutrient uptake, storage, relocation, as well as water uptake. It is needed for the synthesis of proteins and growth regulators. Cl is also important in enzyme activities, lodging prevention in wheat, disease suppression, and physiological leaf spot control in cereal crops. Sufficient Cl availability can decrease the incidence of blossom-end rot and reduce injury of gold speck on tomato fruits.
The existence of Cl can impact plant nutrients uptake by interactive effects with other nutrients. There is an antagonism between Cl and nitrate (NO3–) in plants. The uptake of chloride is inhibited by nitrate, and vice versa. There are possible benefits of partial nitrate replacement in the root environment by an equivalent chloride content. For example, increasing the Cl:NO3–ratio in the nutrient solution can decrease the incidence of blossom-end rot in tomatoes.
The Native Plants for Riparian Corridors in CT guide from Connecticut Sea Grant is now available! The guide includes native trees, shrubs, ferns, grasses, sedges, reeds and herbaceous plants that can grow and thrive along bodies of water.
Romina Flores Diaz, a political science student at UConn Hartford, and Mayra Rodríguez González, our urban and community forestry assistant extension educator, advanced UConn CAHNR’s strategic vision through their collaborative research on Resilient Cities, Racism, and Equity. At the Undergraduate Research Conference in Storrs, Romina presented an evidence-based approach to achieve environmental and climate justice in communities.
Achieving environmental and climate justice requires innovative strategies. What is the best approach?
UConn CAHNR is committed to improving quality of life and creating a sustainable future. Through scientific discovery, innovation, education, and community engagement the College has been working to achieve the set strategic initiatives:
Ensuring a Vibrant and Sustainable Agricultural Industry and Food Supply
Enhancing Health and Well-Being Locally, Nationally, and Globally
Promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice
Advancing Adaptation and Resilience in a Changing Climate
Fostering Sustainable Landscapes at the Urban-Rural Interface
How can UConn Extension help you? Evan Lentz, the new assistant Extension educator of fruit production and IPM at UConn’s Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecturewants to know. Lentz, a recent graduate of UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, has expertise in commercial fruit production with an emphasis on small and some niche crops, IPM, farm risk management, plant nutrition and other related topics. He is planning to conduct farm visits and asks Farm Bureau members to get in touch with him to schedule a visit. He’s also planning to survey farmers on programs and trainings they would like from UConn Extension.
In attempt to meet the increased demand for seaweed, aquaculture producers are working to expand the North American seaweed farming industry. However, efforts to strengthen the industry have highlighted the need to address emerging challenges. “Processing capabilities, long term nursery production, and competition with imports” are among the most prevalent concerns says Anoushka Concepcion, an Extension educator with Connecticut Sea Grant. Concepcion is leading the National Seaweed Hub, a collaborative effort of 11 Sea Grant programs in the United States addressing the needs of the seaweed industry.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is soliciting applications from individual farms and/or non-profits to identify, host and mentor a BIPOC apprentice(s) for the 2023 season. The focus of the apprenticeship must be on specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.”
The CT DoAg has up to $50,000 in funds to award in 2023. Funding for this initiative is from USDA’s Specialty Crop Block
Grant Program. Prospective mentors may apply for up to $5,000/apprentice to be spent between mid-May- September 29, 2023.
The deadline to apply to be considered to be a mentor/host is Monday, May 1, 2023 at 4pm. Please apply using this Cognito form. Preference will be given to mentors who identify as BIPOC, but it is not a requirement.
Please read the attached guidance document for complete details. If you have questions or need assistance with completing the application, please contact Cyrena Thibodeau at CT DoAg , Cyrena.Thibodeau@ct.gov or 860-895-3094
Join us for the New England Kelp Harvest Week celebration April 20th through April 30th!
Connecticut Sea Grant has been collaborating with the state’s aquaculture industry to develop sugar kelp farming and a market for the product. This week kelp famers are partnering with restaurants across Connecticut to provide tasty dishes with locally grown kelp. Support the local kelp industry by visiting one of the restaurants participating and spread the word to your friends and family. You can also learn how to incorporate kelp into your meals at one of the cooking classes offered by New England Kelp Harvest. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity.
Search #:496069 Work type:Full-time Location:Hartford County Extension Ctr Categories:Faculty Extension Educator
The Department of Extension is seeking applicants for a full-time (11 month) non-tenure track Assistant/Associate Extension Educator in Soil Health. The successful applicant will assess, develop and deliver impactful extension programs on soil health, regenerative agriculture, and conservation practices. These programs will build an Extension program focused on creating more climate and economically resilient agricultural systems through improved knowledge of soils and soil health and will include soil and livestock manure management. This Extension Educator will collaborate with UConn personnel, state and federal agency partners, growers, and producers as appropriate. The successful applicant will develop an interdisciplinary education and applied research program in soil health addressing diverse cropping systems that include ornamental and turf crops, food and forage crops as well as composting that utilizes manure, food waste, and other organics. They will have familiarity with how to leverage federal, state, and regional programs to protect, preserve, and restore Connecticut soils. This includes collaborating with USDA – NRCS, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, CT Department of Agriculture, the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and other stakeholders to ensure growers, farmers and land managers are well informed and have the proper tools and knowledge to successfully build and maintain soil health. The plan of work will include making recommendations for using appropriate management practices and the latest technologies to protect water quality and quantity as well as other natural resources of CT and Long Island Sound.
UConn Extension, in partnership with CPEN, the Community Placemaking Engagement Network, is offering an urban farmer training course in New Haven scheduled to run from April to October. The course, taught by Jacqueline Kowalski, a UConn urban agriculture educator, will train locals to produce fresh food, manage a marketplace and develop as agricultural entrepreneurs and vendors.
It meets Thursday nights and rotating Saturdays and the cost is $300. Scholarships are available.
Connecticut Sea Grant’s 2022 Annual Report is now available as a downloadable pdf. It offers highlights of CTSG’s accomplishments for the 2021-22 Sea Grant fiscal year, which runs from February 2021 through January 2022. The annual report features information about CTSG’s budget and summaries of projects and programs in: fisheries and aquaculture; workforce development; resilient communities; environmental literacy; coastal ecosystems and watershed; and research, presented alongside multiple engaging images showcasing our work.