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N.C. PSI

A man wearing a white hard hat at the construction site of the new N.C. PSI building.

Jan 18, 2021

PSI Profile: Geoff Bock, Interim Director of Operations

One of the first people tapped with turning the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative vision into a reality was CALS alumnus Geoff Bock. Hired in 2016 as the project manager, Bock now also serves as the interim director of operations. 

Cranos Williams in front of Hunt Library

Nov 18, 2020

PSI Profile: Cranos Williams, Platform Director for Data-Driven Plant Sciences

Cranos Williams, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named the director of the Data-Driven Plant Sciences platform for the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative. 

Hannah Burrack in front of a corn field.

Oct 21, 2020

PSI Profile: Hannah Burrack, Director of Education and Outreach

Hannah Burrack, a professor and Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, was recently appointed the Director of Education and Outreach for the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative. 

Hannah Burrack in front of a corn field.

Oct 7, 2020

N.C. PSI Names New Platform Directors

The North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative named four new platform directors and the interim director of operations. These leaders will guide the initiative’s research, Extension and education activities. 

sweet potatoes in crate

Sep 23, 2020

NC State Team Finds Solution for Sweetpotato Problem

An NC State team led by Jonathan Schultheis has determined a new curing process that greatly reduces internal necrosis in Covington sweetpotatoes. This will save N.C. sweetpotato producers millions of dollars in crop loss. 

William Culpepper Family

May 27, 2020

Generational Generosity Supports Agribusiness Breakthroughs

Growing up in Rocky Mount, Bill Culpepper planned to go back home after graduation, but the Vietnam War and his introduction to agribusiness changed his plans and his life. Now, he and his family -- three generations Wolfpack strong -- are making a significant gift to the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative to support future agribusiness breakthroughs. 

A bunch of sweetpotatoes

May 27, 2020

Big Data for Better Sweetpotatoes

An interdisciplinary team led by Cranos Williams is setting out on a three-year project to use artificial intelligence to make sweetpotatoes even more profitable. The team will image hundreds of thousands of sweetpotatoes to increase the percentage of sweetpotatoes grown that are USDA grade 1. 

Owen Wagner (far left) and other foundational supporters for the Plant Sciences Initiative during the Plant Sciences Building groundbreaking on September 6, 2019.

May 13, 2020

Partner Profile: North Carolina Soybean Producers Association

The North Carolina Soybean Producers Association was one of the first commodity groups to pledge their support for the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative (N.C. PSI). Owen Wanger, CEO of the association, shares why it supports the N.C. PSI. 

Cherry tomatoes

Apr 29, 2020

Plant Aid: A GRIP4PSI Big-Data Project to Detect Plant Diseases Faster

An interdisciplinary team led by professor Jean Ristaino will combine small sensors with big data for faster detection of the diseases plaguing tomato fields. From a hand-held plant disease ‘sniffer’ to a cloud-based database that can alert farmers about the cause of the stress and suggest possible mitigation strategies, the project aims to detect diseases early, improving yield. 

Aerial of tractor spraying fields at Lake Wheeler farms.

Mar 30, 2020

Fertilizer of the Future

An interdisciplinary team led by Katharina Stapelmann is setting out on an ambitious three-year project to completely rethink how nitrogen-based fertilizers are produced and used. From on-farm fertilizer production to on-demand, precision irrigation, their project aims to cut energy use, protect the water supply and increase yields.