'Sustainable intensification' of cropping systems good for farmers, environment

March 16, 2020

By diversifying their crop rotations to create conditions that promote beneficial, predatory insects to combat pests, farmers can reduce their reliance on insecticides to control early-season crop pests, such as caterpillars, and still produce competitive yields of corn and soybeans.

Half a billion dead honey bees in Brazil show what happens when you roll back pesticide regulations

August 30, 2019

Insecticides kill insects. It should be no surprise, then, that in Brazil, which has seen a 27% increase in pesticide sales since last year, roughly 500 million honey bees were found dead in piles across four states in early spring. The country’s pesticide use has grown by 770% between 1990 to 2016, as reported by Bloomberg.

'Planting green' cover-crop strategy may help farmers deal with wet springs

July 3, 2019

Allowing cover crops to grow two weeks longer in the spring and planting corn and soybean crops into them before termination is a strategy that may help no-till farmers deal with wet springs, according to Penn State researchers.

Why it’s time to curb widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides

June 27, 2018

Planting season for corn and soybeans across the U.S. corn belt is drawing to a close. As they plant, farmers are participating in what is likely to be one of the largest deployments of insecticides in United States history.

Jen shares her experience of working in the Tooker lab

November 6, 2017

Hi! I’m Jen, and I am a senior majoring in plant science, horticulture option.

New paper highlights limitation of neonicotinoid seed treatments and incompatibility of their current use with IPM

October 27, 2017

Plant 'smells' insect foe, initiates defense

August 28, 2017

It cannot run away from the fly that does it so much damage, but tall goldenrod can protect itself by first "smelling" its attacker and then initiating its defenses, according to an international team of researchers.

The Morning Mixtape: Insects! Bugs!

August 9, 2017

John Tooker and Elizabeth Rowen from the Penn State Department of Entomology talk about insects: what they are, why we need them, and why reaching for your shoe when you see a bug might not be the right move. This is the first installment of a monthly entomology series that will air on the second Wednesday of each month.

Summer internship with Dan Wisniewski

July 21, 2017

This summer has been full of insects, corn, soy, and so much dirt! I am Dan Wisniewski a rising sophomore majoring in Plant Science with a minor in Environmental Resource Management at Penn State.

Podcast: Collateral Neonic Impacts

July 11, 2017

Neonicotinoids (neonics) are a class of insecticides based on natural plant compounds that disrupt the insect nervous system. They are used because they have relatively low toxicity on non-insects. They are applied as seed coatings, so when a seed germinates the water-soluble insecticides are taken up and mobilized throughout the plant, providing protection against insects that feed on it. The strategy decreases the need for aerial spraying of broad-spectrum insecticides.

We are not that far from Bryn Mawr

June 27, 2017

Kyra joined us for the summer and she kinda likes it.

Scientists to study how soil health is influenced by pest-management tactics

June 19, 2017

An entomologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study and compare how various pest-management regimes affect the health of soils.

Slugging it out with a new contender in the GMO debate

June 8, 2017

It was the closest thing you get to a blind date between a scientist and a journalist.

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John Tooker, Ph.D.
  • Professor of Entomology