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NIFA Invests over $6M to Support Foundational Knowledge of Ag Production Systems

The Foundational Knowledge of Agricultural Production Systems program supports plant research to advance our knowledge for the wide range of agricultural production systems found across the rural-urban continuum, from conventional open-fields to protected built environments. Research addresses critical or process-limiting dynamics that occur among and within the various management components of a production system using experimental manipulations of system components, technological interventions, system analyses, modeling, or agro-ecological approaches. Results are expected to lead to the development of innovative sustainable solutions to challenges limiting or threatening the productivity, profitability, and good stewardship of natural resources, environment, and human capital.

2021 Project Highlights:

  • The Ohio State University will use funds from this program to identify plant growth promoting rhizobacteria that can benefit crop performance in various production systems. This innovative technology will help develop more sustainable production systems by increasing the availability and plant uptake of essential nutrients, thereby reducing nutrient leaching and environmental contamination.  
  • Oklahoma State university will tackle the issue of declining water table in the Ogallala Aquifer region. They will integrate cotton (a low water demanding crop) into the traditional grain rotations and investigate the long-term environmental and economic impact of the new production system.
  • The Pennsylvania State University will investigate effects of weather variability on crop performance and agroecosystem processes and how that knowledge could help assist farmers with adaptive management strategies. The research team will use open-top chambers and snow removal to manipulate climate within the field and examine how warmer temperatures and increasing winter weather variability associated with climate change affect perennial forage crops and weedy plant communities. A separate team from the same institution will optimize biological nitrogen fixation by alfalfa, a legume cover crop widely used in both conventional and organic production systems.
Farm Bill Priority Areas
Agriculture systems and technology
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