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Plant Health and Production and Plant Products Program Area

The Plant Health and Production and Plant Products (PHPPP) program area of the AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program was established to increase knowledge of plant systems and the various factors that affect agricultural plant productivity. 

This knowledge would enable U.S. agriculture to solve critical challenges it may face in the mid-21st century. There is need for increased agricultural plant productivity, safe and nutritious food, and new products to meet the demands of a growing populations in the face of limiting resources, loss of agricultural land to urban development, and increasing global market competition.

Plant production, protection, and the development of new plant products are critical to the sustainability and competitiveness of U.S. agriculture, and our nation’s economic preeminence. The Plant health and production and plant products program area was established with the recognition that increasing knowledge of plant systems and the various factors that affect productivity will help U.S. producers and consumers face critical challenges in areas such as nutritional security, stewardship of natural resources, bioenergy, climate variability, organic production, loss of agricultural land, challenges to pollinator health, and increasing global competition. Future improvements to production systems will require a greater understanding of complex, inter-related factors, across a wide range of scales.

These include investigations of plant and pest biology at molecular, cellular, and whole-organism levels as well as innovative and environmentally-sound approaches to improve plant performance and provide protection from biotic and abiotic stressors. Additionally, there is a critical need to help mitigate the ecological footprint of agriculture; the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has articulated a vision of significantly reducing energy, water, and nitrogen use and greenhouse gas production. Applications must incorporate ways to develop approaches that will contribute to the measurable reduction of the overall ecological footprint of row crop agriculture. 

In FY 2021-2022, the Plant Health and Production and Plant Products program area of the AFRI Foundational and Applied Science RFA is soliciting applications relevant to the program area priorities listed below. Project type (research or integrated) and grant type (Standard, Conference, and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE)) will vary by program area priority; please see the descriptions in Part I, C of the RFA for specifics. In addition, AFRI invites Research Project applications for Standard and FASE (Strengthening Standard and New Investigator) Grant types that address Commodity Board priorities in AFRI Commodity Board Co-Funding Topics (A1811).

  • Foundational Knowledge of Agricultural Production Systems (A1102)
  • Foundational Knowledge of Plant Products (A1103)
  • Pests and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems (A1112)
  • Physiology of Agricultural Plants (A1152)
  • Plant Breeding for Agricultural Production (A1141)
  • Pollinator Health: Research and Application (A1113)
  • Conventional Plant Breeding for Cultivar Development (A1143)
  • Agricultural Microbiomes in Plant Systems and Natural Resources (A1402)
  • Tactical Sciences for Agricultural Biosecurity (A1181)
  • Critical Agricultural Research and Extension (CARE) (A1701)
  • Extension, Education & USDA Climate Hubs Partnership (A1721)

Research proposals submitted to this program area must justify the choice of organism or system in terms of its importance to production agriculture. The use of model systems is allowed, but applicants must clearly describe the relevance of model system development to plant production systems and also describe how results obtained from model systems will be transferred to agriculturally-important organisms during the project period.
Additionally, NIFA continues to jointly offer a program with the National Science Foundation (NSF) entitled, "NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions."

Funded Projects

NIFA Internal Links


Program type
Grant Program

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