speaker

Kathy Demchak, Penn State University

Kathy Demchak, Penn State University

Senior Extension Associate

Kathy’s responsibilities are to conduct applied research to help berry growers and provide them with up-to-date information on production technologies through presentations, articles, and publications. Kathy is interested in technologies that improve the sustainability of berry production with the overall goal of reducing negative environmental impacts of production while maximizing crop productivity. Following the arrival in PA of a new devastating insect pest, spotted wing drosophila, her research has largely focused on better understanding this insect's behavior and evaluating various means of management. Other ongoing research projects include evaluations of new cultivars and types of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries; development of recommendations for growing day-neutral (everbearing) strawberries; evaluation of season extension technologies (high tunnels and low tunnels); and evaluation of water treatments that are intended to improve the food safety of strawberries.