Today's U of M horticultural scientists continue the University's heritage of successfully breeding cold-hardy, disease-resistant varieties.
For information on the latest horticultural research please visit the features and impacts page.
Vegetables and Berries
Studies on how high tunnel systems can help manage disease, pests, and cold weather while extending the Minnesota growing season are underway at research sites throughout Minnesota.
U of M researchers are providing new proven varieties of plants for Minnesota nurseries to grow. These new varieties are often pest resistant, well adapted, and tested to survive Minnesota's Zone 3 and 4 conditions.
Grapes and Apples
From Honeycrisp to SweeTango® University researchers have been instrumental in growing Minnesota's apple industry. New cold-hardy grape varieties developed at the University have initiated the rapid growth of Minnesota's wine industry.
Growing North Minneapolis is a community-driven program which aims to build food, environmental, social and cognitive justice through sustainable urban growing and greening. Learning and career development are experiential and contextualized in real-world experiences related to the FEW nexus. Urban youth, predominantly of color and low socioeconomic status, are hired through a local workforce development program, and work together with UMN undergraduates and North Minneapolis community mentors to form intergenerational communities of practice.
With the ultimate goal of developing more sustainable food production systems, UMN researchers explored plant-soil-microbe relationships driving soil fertility in organic systems. To do this, they developed a farmer-driven project to investigate the role summer cover crops can play in enhancement of soil nutrients and overall health when grown for short periods of time. Significantly, they partnered with a variety of immigrant farmer grower groups for on-farm studies and shared their soil health information directly with producers.
Colony collapse disorder (CDD) is a threat to the survival of honey bees and could significantly disrupt agricultural production. However, research into CCD is limited by the lack of in vitro cultures composed of honey bee cells. To address this limitation, UMN researchers at the Bee Lab and the Department of Entomology set out to develop a honey bee cell line that would support continuous culturing of the insect cells in order to develop a powerful tool to explore the process of infection and the negative impact pathogens may have on honey bee biology and health.