Prairie Farmer Logo

USDA funding goes to eight universities that will lead projects

September 23, 2019

2 Min Read
Amanda Radke

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has invested $77.8 million in research focusing on sustaining a more abundant, nutritious, and accessible food supply.

As part of this funding investment, eight universities will lead projects aimed at integrating sustainable agricultural approaches covering the entire food production system.

“Investing in high-value research that promotes sustainably intensified agricultural practices, while addressing climate adaptation and limited resources, ensures long-term agricultural productivity and profitability and provides unprecedented opportunities for American farmers and producers,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary Scott Hutchins, who leads USDA’s Research, Education and Economics mission area.

Among the eight universities leading these projects:

  • Western Illinois University will lead research aimed at developing pennycress as an oilseed crop that can be used as biofuel. Its goal is to help farmers throughout the U.S. Midwest Corn Belt and in other temperate-regions to grow pennycress as a winter-annual cash cover crop. Pennycress is a unique, high-yielding oilseed crop that can provide environmental benefits including reducing nitrogen runoff and preventing soil erosion.

  • New Mexico State University will focus on improving the efficiency of Southwestern ranches by using systems models and linking the socioeconomic and environmental trade-offs associated with heritage cattle genetics, precision ranching and range finishing. This will ultimately help Southwest producers find more economical and sustainable ways to raise beef cattle using precision farming techniques.

  • North Carolina State University is leading a multi-institutional project that focuses on increasing crop productivity, conserving natural resources, and reducing the agro-ecological footprint using cover crops. This research investment taps into creative intellect from 19 universities and scientific experts from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

This research investment is part of a new program within NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems program, the nation’s leading and largest competitive grants program for agricultural sciences.

“If we want a sustainable food production system that also safeguards our natural resources, we need approaches that are both innovative and economically viable for our nation’s farmers, ranchers and food producers,” said Hutchins.

Source: USDA NIFA, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like