UNIVERSITY PARK — A publication created by Penn State Extension has been lauded for excellence by the American Society for Horticultural Science, a national organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education and application.

The 2020-2021 Penn State Tree Fruit Production Guide earned the society’s Extension Division Educational Materials Award in the book category. The honor recognizes an outstanding and innovative extension activity, project or method that contributes to the horticultural industry in the areas of commercial production, processing and marketing, home grounds, and youth work.

“We thank the American Society for Horticultural Science for recognizing our publication and the value it brings to the tree-fruit industry,” said Rob Crassweller, professor of horticulture and extension tree-fruit specialist in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, who is among the authors of the guide.

He said the publication’s goal is to provide growers with a one-stop information source on the production of tree fruit. The guide features color images depicting some common problems growers may see in their orchards and details labor regulations to help keep orchards in compliance with state and federal Department of Labor regulations. Integrated pest management practices are another highlight.

Crassweller added that a noteworthy aspect of the guide is the inclusion of a section on marketing that provides information about the social characteristics of customers, new electronic methods to reach customers, and market layout suggestions. A new section on precision agriculture covers aspects of precision irrigation and collection of weather data for monitoring orchard environment.

“This truly is an integrated and cooperative project involving the majority of the departments in the college and more than 20 individual authors,” Crassweller said.

More information can be found online at https://extension.psu.edu/tree-fruit-production-guide.

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