Four potential flavors have been selected as finalists for the new signature flavor of the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
One lucky fan who votes for the winning flavor will win four tickets to the Blue Rocks game on National Ice Cream Day—Sunday, July 15—as well as gift cards to the UDairy Wilmington location and their own supply of the new signature UDairy ice cream flavor.
The contending flavors include:
Batter up! Fudge Brownie Batter Ice Cream with Fresh Baked Brownie Bites and White Chocolate Chunks
Celery-bration Celery-brating a Blue Rocks Score! Celery-Green, Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream Loaded with Chocolate Covered Graham Cracker Bases, a thick Marshmallow Swirl and Celebratory Blue Sprinkles
Rocky Bluewinkle Tracks Blue Sugar Cookie Ice Cream with a thick Fudge Swirl and Mini Chocolate-covered Caramel Truffles
Blue Rocks Slide Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Chunks and Blue Cookie Cream Swirl
The flavor ideas all stemmed from the University of Delaware’s Associate in Arts students who work at the UDairy Creamery Market in Wilmington. They came up with the four flavor ideas for the general public to vote on and choose from.
Velondis biofungicide contains beneficial microbe to help plants fight fungal disease
The Environmental Protection Agency has registered BASF’s new Velondis brand biofungicide seed treatment formulations, which contain a patented University of Delaware beneficial microbe to help plants fight fungal disease. With potential applications in agriculture, horticulture and forestry, the products are designed to boost the protection of seedlings and plants from key soil-borne diseases.
The bacteria in Velondis produce a beneficial biofilm and antimicrobial components that promote systemic resistance within the plant, resulting in suppression of disease organisms that attach to root systems. Two of the Velondis biofungicides have additional components that help plants produce a more vigorous root system, resulting in improved plant growth and yield potential.
“Velondis biofungicides mark a major step for BASF in the use of natural biologicals to help plants fight disease,” said Justin Clark, a technical marketing manager with BASF. “We plan to use this new active ingredient in a number of different products and applications to help improve disease control and increase crop yield potential.”
A key microorganism incorporated in the new Velondis formulations is a unique strain of Bacillus subtilis, a natural, beneficial bacterium that lives on the surface of roots and the surrounding soil, or rhizosphere.
Scientists at UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI) conducted research on the beneficial bacterium with initial support from USDA HATCH funds, and additional funding from DBI, the National Science Foundation and BASF. The University’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships also provided funding and significant intellectual property management.
Janine Sherrier, professor of plant and soil sciences, and colleague Harsh Bais, associate professor of plant and soil sciences at UD, were the lead inventors on the patent, which the University has licensed exclusively to BASF. The two professors, along with co-inventor Venkatachalam Lakshmanan, led collaborative research teams studying the microorganism.
“At the University of Delaware, we’re able to pursue early discovery work, with the ultimate aim of providing safe and effective tools for growers,” said Sherrier. “The translation of basic research into commercial products is an arduous path, so we are pleased that our work has resulted in the development of new products for agriculture such as Velondis biofungicides.”
Velondis biofungicides will be used in different facets of agriculture and will initially be labeled for use with soybeans in spring 2018. Growers can learn more about Velondis biofungicides by visiting BASF Ag Products or by contacting their local BASF representative.
About BASF’s Crop Protection division
With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. BASF’s Crop Protection division works with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others to help make this possible. With their cooperation, BASF is able to sustain an active R&D pipeline, an innovative portfolio of products and services, and teams of experts in the lab and in the field to support customers in making their businesses succeed. In 2016, BASF’s Crop Protection division generated sales of €5.6 billion. For more information, please visit us at www.agriculture.basf.com or on any of our social media channels.
BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 17,500 employees in North America, and had sales of $16.2 billion in 2016. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.us. BASF combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 114,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of about €58 billion in 2016. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at www.basf.com.
Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson, Shannon Modla and Venkatachalam Lakshmanan
The University of Delaware’s Kent Messer was looking for something that would allow him and his research team from the Center for Experimental and Applied Economics (CEAE) to stand out in a crowd and drum up participation when they travel to locations for their experiments, while at the same time, being able to serve all of their research needs.
Upon returning from a recent trip to Thailand, Messer, the Unidel Howard Cosgrove Chair for the Environment, director of the CEAE and co-director of the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research (CBEAR) in the University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), found the vehicle that would be truly unique to the state of Delaware: a tuk tuk.
“Social scientists always want to recruit a representative sample of participants for their research, but recruiting has become increasingly difficult as people’s lives have become so busy. We needed something that was attractive and instantly welcoming. People smile when they see our tuk tuk and they approach us wanting to learn more,” said Messer.
Made in Amsterdam, UD’s tuk tuk is a sort of three-wheeled motorized rickshaw decked out in UD colors and logos that arrived the night before Ag Day and made its debut at the event where it garnered much attention.
Maddi Valinski, lab manager for CEAE and program administrator for CBEAR, said that at one point when she was riding in the tuk tuk with Leah Palm-Forster, assistant professor in the Department of Applied Economics and Statistics (APEC), who was driving it at Ag Day, about 50 kids descended on the tuk tuk.
“The tuk tuk is very eye catching, and really draws people in. It’s a great way to connect with people and get them interested in our research, more so than just handing out flyers. I think the tuk tuk was part of the reason we were so successful at Ag Day this year. We had over 750 people participate in research compared to 500 last year, which is an incredible increase,” said Valinski.
The tuk tuk is a mobile lab that runs off of electricity and can be set up to charge 30 computers inside or house whatever equipment the center needs to run its experiments, such as a fryer or a refrigerator.
“Whatever our experiment needs are—for oyster experiments or other consumer experiments—we can customize it similar to the way you would customize a food truck,” Valinski said.
It was designed with the help of Keith Heckert, creative and branding director in the UD Communications and Public Affairs office, and has the departmental name and the center’s name, as well as ‘Dare to Experiment,’ emblazoned on the sides.
The tuk tuk can only get up to 30 miles per hour so taking it to far away locations requires it to be towed with a trailer, although it is street legal.
Funding for the tuk tuk came from APEC, and Valinski said that Tom Ilvento, chair of the department, was great in supporting it and recognizing that it would be a great resource, not just for the center but also for the rest of the department.
The tuk tuk will be seen throughout Delaware this summer as it will be used for research on the UD campus, near the UDairy Creamery, and on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. It has also earned a spot at the United States Department of Agriculture’s farmers market on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Nearly a year after University of Delaware Botanic Gardens (UDBG) partnered with the Woodburn Garden Project in Dover, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and first lady Carla Markell held an official public opening of the gardens adjacent to the governor’s mansion.
While major donors and dignitaries like former Delaware Gov. Mike Castle were on hand for the event, the focus fell on the garden’s diverse flora, including several plants and trees donated by UDBG. Carla Markell, beaming with pride over the new design, praised the collaborative effort between her staff and members of UDBG and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
“To me, it is essential to create the partnerships between the private and public sector,” Markell said. “That’s when great things can happen and the whole community has an opportunity to get involved.”
Mark Rieger, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, shared the first lady’s sentiment, saying, “We are thrilled to be part of this garden restoration project. The real strength of our horticulture faculty is in landscape design, so I’m glad they reached out to us for a project as important as this.”
The relationship began when landscape artist Rodney Robinson, a UD alumnus who hails from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, learned that the gordlinia tree, a cross between the franklinia and its relative, the gordonia, was being featured at the UDBG’s 2013 Spring Plant Sale. Robinson knew immediately that the flowering tree would make for a great addition to the project.
“I was immediately anxious to get it for the Woodburn Garden Project, because I was aware of its rarity,” Robinson said of the gordlinia, which features large “fried egg” white flowers surrounded by deep maroon fall foliage. “But I also wanted a small tree up by the house – one that would flower and also tell an interesting story that would help to compliment the house itself.”
After discussing the addition of the gordlinia with Markell and Ken Darsney, state horticulturist for Delaware’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Robinson reached out to UDBG Director John Frett and Assistant Director Melinda Zoehrer.
“They came to us looking for partners in the project and the possibilities of what the Botanic Gardens could offer,” Frett said. “Although the gordlinia was the most notable plant we supplied, there were several other donations that totaled about $500.”
Darsney, who manages outdoor care and upkeep for all of Delaware’s state-owned historic properties, said the Snowflake hydrangea, the Let’s Dance hydrangea, the Declaration lilac and the Shasta viburnum were also donated by UDBG. However, the gordlinia served as the centerpiece, due to its ability to withstand changes in climate and its historical significance.
“The gordlinia handles heat extremes, has fewer root issues and pest problems, and is more suitable to grow without needing extra fertilizer or pesticide,” Darsney said. “But it also derives from the Franklinia alatamaha, which is a native tree with deep historical significance.”
A tree with history
According to Robinson, the franklinia was discovered in the mid-1700s by John Bartram, a Colonial era botanist who named the plant after his “good buddy,” Benjamin Franklin. Though the franklinia is currently extinct in the wild, its offspring, the gordlinia, is quite the vigorous tree and shares a similar historical significance with the governor’s residence, which was erected around 1798 by Charles Hillyard III.
“We wanted to create a new garden that takes its lead from the style and history of the house,” Robinson said. “The gordlinia, with its franklinia bloodline, has that attribute. When you add the fact that it’s a tremendously vigorous tree, it’s quite the fit for this period piece.”
After planting the gordlinia in late 2013, Robinson and Darsney, though confident in the plant’s ability to survive extreme conditions, were understandably concerned as the winter season of 2013-14 featured plenty of snowfall and cold temperatures.
“We thought we might lose it over the harsh winter, but the gordlinia is incredibly resilient,” Robinson said. “Neither of its parents are particularly strong, but you get them together and they produce a very robust plant.”
Frett added that the gordlinia has made a great addition to UDBG’s diverse collection of “woody plants,” and that seeing the gordlinia placed in a public garden is a boon for the University.
“Hopefully it brings recognition to the institution, the college and the Botanic Gardens,” Frett said. “That way, people visiting Woodburn Garden are more aware of what we’re involved in and that we have a firm place in the state’s horticultural makeup.”
Darsney, as he begins work on other statewide projects, is optimistic about the future of working with UDBG and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
“I would be absolutely welcome to a partnership with UD in future projects,” Darsney said. “Any time you can take a public space and partner with the University, where they are able to get a product in front of the public for enjoyment and make that connection, it’s a win-win.”