The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Appalachian Fruit Research Station (AFRS) will welcome visitors to a open house today and Friday featuring tours, displays and activities.
The open house is part of the official event schedule of the West Virginia Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival. The open house program will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at the AFRS in Kearneysville, and is free and open to the public.
The mission of the Appalachian Fruit Research Station (AFRS) is to identify critical problems of temperate fruit production; develop the science, technology, and genetic base needed to maximize productivity and quality of fruit crops; and minimize the adverse effects of biotic and environmental factors on these crops.
ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The open house program will include tours and activities demonstrating the lab’s research including:
- Post-harvest Mania: how to control fungal and bacterial diseases on fruits after harvest by using biological ‘armies’ (aka biocontrol)
- The Ultimate Solar Energy: Plants have been ‘going green’ for ages using solar energy to drive chemical reactions (plant solar cells are called chloroplasts). Watch a demonstration about how photosynthesis is measured and what factors can affect this critical process.
- How HOT are you? Scientists demonstrate the use of video thermographic imaging to understand how plants freeze.
- Orchard in a Jar: Learn how tiny apple trees are being regenerated in a process called tissue culture.
- Brown marmorated stink bug races and demonstrations also on stink bug life cycle, habitat and control
For more information and directions visit the AFRS web site: www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=19-31-00-00