Sustainable Corn Project Adapts the Midwest “Corn Belt” to Climate Change
American corn production covers about 95 million acres on 400,000 farms and brought in about $65 billion in 2013. NIFA has provided $20 million in funding to sustain one of the nation’s most important farm crops through weather extremes. Iowa State University is leading a multidisciplinary team of researchers from 10 land-grant universities and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service on the Sustainable Corn Project to mitigate and adapt the Midwest “Corn Belt” to climate change. Since the project began in 2011, researchers have created a central database to better evaluate how drainage, cover crops, tillage, fertilizers, and crop rotations affect water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles under variable weather conditions. In addition, the team is training 159 researchers—undergraduate through post-doctoral—to become the next generation of scientists who can help increase future food production and ensure the integrity and resilience of natural resources.
NIFA originally published this impact in the NIFA 2015 Annual Report. Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.