NIFA Invests $9.5 Million to Promote Innovation in Animal Reproduction (A1211)
June 7, 2023
The Animal Reproduction program area priority within the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative funds projects that focus on enhancing gonadal function, evaluating transcriptomics in sperm, preventing pregnancy loss, and improving…
NIFA Invests $6.7 Million to Advance the Sustainable Bioeconomy through Biobased Products (A1414)
June 7, 2023
This program area priority within the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative supports integrated projects to advance biobased products, biomass systems or biomass-generated power to enable the bioeconomy in a manner which reduces…
NIFA Invests $16.2 Million in Innovative Plant Breeding Research (AFRI A1141)
June 7, 2023
Agriculture of the future will be enabled by genome design, innovative breeding methods, data analysis and knowledge of molecular and biological processes. Breeding crops for the future will require new traits, breeding platforms built…
Study Unravels the Impact of Rockweed Harvest at the Bed-Scale
June 7, 2023
University of Maine researchers have captured how entire rockweed beds recover from harvest, and the practice has a smaller impact than previously thought.
State of Success: National Oklahoma DayState of Success: National Oklahoma Day Rachel.Dotson Wed, 06/07/2023 - 9:33am EDT
To celebrate National Oklahoma Day on June 7, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is highlighting the innovative NIFA-funded research conducted by the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Agricultural Experiment Station (OSU Ag Research).
The Hatch Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in March 1887, set up a national network of agricultural experiment stations with a mission to conduct research that would make America's farms more productive. Following suit, on Dec. 24, 1890, the Oklahoma Territory's legislature passed an act that established the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) College (later Oklahoma State University) and the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station in Stillwater. The "college farm" predated any classroom or administration facilities and was located on 200 acres.
Successes and Innovations
The Magruder Plots:
J.C. Neal was the first experiment station director, and he hired A.C. Magruder as A&M's first teacher and researcher. Magruder began planting hundreds of varieties of fruit, nut and shade trees, and initiating varietal tests on oats, corn and spring wheat. In 1892, he established the now-famous Magruder Plots, the oldest continuous wheat plantings west of the Mississippi River. The plots were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Over the years, these plots have helped establish new and innovative soil fertilization techniques. One key finding has been the sustained wheat production of more than 16 bushels per acre, following more than 100 years without any fertilization.
Five new wheat varieties were released by OSU in 2020, offering improved yield, disease resistance, grazing tolerance, insect resistance and improved end-use performance. Another variety was released in 2023 that offers increased yield and dual disease resistance.
OSU's Integrated Pest Management Program has significantly impacted the sorghum industry since 2014 by addressing key issues related to the sugarcane aphid, such as screening for effective insecticides and host plant resistance as well as developing economic thresholds and rapid scouting tools. Results have saved Oklahoma growers $6.2 to $14.4 million per year in lost grain yield.
Eight bermudagrass varieties developed at OSU have been used in 26 states, including more than 100 golf courses, 25 professional fields and 25 college/university stadiums. The turfgrass industry contributes more than $40 billion per year to the U.S. economy and more than $1 billion per year to the Oklahoma economy.
Technological innovations have included the creation of tools for measuring nitrogen and pathogens in crops; technology for increasing the shelf life of meat; the co-fermentation of biofuels; and the development of livestock management practices and digital databases to help improve various systems, such as water security management and plant pathogen diagnosis.
A regenerative agriculture project at OSU monitored the quantity and quality of runoff water from fields where regenerative practices have been implemented. The project:
- Assessed practices in continuous cotton production systems to achieve agricultural intensification, greater profitability and improved climate resiliency
- Developed forage systems and presented demonstrations in producer and experimental station fields
The research will support a soil stewardship education program and create a curriculum for regional 4-H Youth Development summer programs.
Animal and food science researchers are:
- Identifying specific microorganisms associated with resistance to necrotic enteritis in chickens. Certain breeds of chickens are naturally resistant to infections, while other genetically related breeds are more susceptible. OSU scientists are searching for the differences in the composition and function of the gut bacteria among different breeds of chickens when it comes to infection. The $300,000 NIFA-funded project is a collaborative project among Oklahoma State University, Iowa State University and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in East Lansing, Michigan.
- Improving meat goat production practices by determining how different conditions in production influence the efficiency of production and profit.
- Bettering cattle selection practices by comparing the immune responses of cattle selected for high growth versus moderate growth or high milk rate versus low milk rate in both spring and fall calving herds.
OSU scientists in other areas:
- Created a plant pathogen diagnostic system called the Diagnostic Assay Validation Network that will safeguard U.S. production systems, ensure safe and beneficial trade, food security and environmental protection.
- Studied the interactions between plants and beneficial microorganisms to enhance the ability of grain crops to take in soil nutrients and fight a specific fungal disease.
- Developed a new co-fermentation process for biofuels that significantly increases biofuel and chemical yields while reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
- Identified multiple wheat genes that play important roles in discovering genetic components responsible for yield and disease resistance. This research is leading to wheat varieties with more advanced disease resistance and higher yield.
Unique Agricultural Challenges
Many challenges confronting livestock and food producers, such as sustainability, climate change and water quality/accessibility standards can only be addressed through multidisciplinary approaches. A sound environmental plan for a livestock operation will involve several different areas, including:
- Animal science: nutritional/feeding programs that meet animals’ dietary needs without excess nutrient excretion into the environment
- Veterinary medicine: animal health can impact efficiency of nutrient utilization
- Biosystems and agricultural engineering: animal housing and manure collection systems can impact the volume and type of nutrients applied to land
- Plant and soil sciences: crops, types of soil and cropping practices impact land application of manure
- Agricultural economics: all practices associated with environmental management must allow the operation to remain economically sustainable
OSU Agriculture hopes to see NIFA continue to fund creative and fundamental research that is relevant not only in our state but beyond our borders. NIFA is the major competitive-grant federal funding agency for our Land-grant scientists. The changing landscape of issues and needed scientific investment that leads to solutions for safe, abundant future food supply can only be achieved with NIFA’s involvement.
Celebrate National Higher Education Day
June 6, 2023
National Higher Education Day occurs annually on June 6 to celebrate access to higher education opportunities. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) partners with Institutions of Higher Education, such as Land-grant…
USDA’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) Creates $85m Economic Impact, Increases Fruit and Vegetable Intake, and Decreases Food Insecurity in Year 3
June 6, 2023
The Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Center (NTAE) has released Year 3 (2021-2022) evaluation impact findings for the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Gus…
#BeatPlasticPollution this World Environment Day
June 5, 2023
USDA NIFA programs are driving agricultural innovation in the race to develop the knowledge and solutions needed to address the environmental challenges posed by plastics.
State of Success: National Utah Day
May 31, 2023
To celebrate National Utah Day on May 31, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is highlighting the innovative NIFA-funded research conducted by Utah State University’s (USU) Agricultural Experiment Station.
USDA NIFA to Invest $12.7M in Sustainable Agroecosystems (A1451)
May 31, 2023
The Sustainable Agroecosystems (A1451) program area priority within the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative funds research projects that focus on the improvement of ecosystem health and output of ecosystem services in managed…
USDA NIFA Invests $6.2M to Advance Agricultural Biosecurity (AFRI A1181)
May 31, 2023
Initiated in 2018, the Agricultural Biosecurity (A1811) program area priority within the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative focuses on increasing the national capacity to prevent, rapidly detect and respond to biological threats…
USDA NIFA Invests $12M to Improve Plant Production (AFRI A1152)
May 31, 2023
The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Physiology of Agricultural Plants (A1152) program area priority advances research to improve plant production, which is critical to the sustainability and competitiveness of U.S…
Chase City Community Gardens Flourish
May 30, 2023
Community gardens offer residents the potential of fresh vegetables and the prospect of improved nutrition. But to reach their full potential, community gardens require effective leadership to nurture both beginning and veteran…
NIFA Honors Veterans and Military Service Members on Memorial Day and Every Day
May 26, 2023
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) supports military members, veterans and their families through work initiatives and a variety of programs and services. In May, NIFA honors Memorial Day and Mental Health…
Growing Hawaii’s New Farmers
May 25, 2023
Hawaii imports about 85-90% of its food, making it vulnerable to food supply disruptions. Additionally, the state struggles with an aging farmer population and lack of farm labor. As USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture …
State of Success: National Wyoming Day
May 24, 2023
To celebrate National Wyoming Day on May 24, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is highlighting the innovative NIFA-funded research conducted by University of Wyoming’s (UW) Agricultural Experiment Station. …
USDA NIFA Invests $26.7M to Further Research into Pests and Beneficial Species (AFRI A1112)
May 24, 2023
The Pests and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems program area priority within the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative aims to advance knowledge of invasive or established plant pests and associated beneficial…
Commodity Board Co-funding Topics (AFRI A1811)
May 24, 2023
USDA-NIFA and various commodity boards seek to co-fund research projects that will improve crop production efficiency and advance solutions to critically important problems in U.S. agriculture to increase farmer profitability and…
A1103 AFRI Foundational Knowledge of Plant Products FY23
May 24, 2023
The AFRI Foundational Knowledge of Plant Products (A1103) program supports projects to study the synthesis of plant-derived, high-value chemicals and ingredients for use in foods, pharmaceuticals, and other natural products. The intent…
NIFA Helps Veterinary Medical Students Repay Loans
May 22, 2023
In 2022, 89 food animal veterinary practitioners from 29 American Veterinary Medical Association accredited Colleges of Veterinary Medicine received nearly $9 million in loan repayment benefits from USDA’s National Institute of Food and…
On World Bee Day, Celebrate NIFA-Funded Native American Pollinator Projects
May 19, 2023
Bees and other pollinators are fundamental for the health of ecosystems and food security. They help maintain biodiversity and ensure the production of nutritious food. Learn about how Native American farmers, ranchers and youth are…
Land-grant Universities Support the ‘Queen of Forages’
May 17, 2023
Several Land-grant Universities conduct research and Extension projects with funding from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) that supports the nation’s alfalfa industry. Learn more about some of these projects,…
Animal Health and Production and Animal Products: Animal Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics (AFRI A1201)
May 16, 2023
NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), Animal Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics (AFRI A1201) supports research on development of novel quantitative genetic methods, development of national and regional breeding…
Understanding and Addressing the Stress Faced by the Nation’s Farmers and Ranchers
May 15, 2023
In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, it is important to recognize projects funded through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) Program and how they are addressing…
State of Success: National Washington Day
May 11, 2023
To celebrate National Washington Day on May 10, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is highlighting the innovative NIFA-funded research conducted by Washington State University (WSU).