USDA Awards $3.4 Million for Research to Increase Wheat Yields

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the award of $3.4 million for research into the development of new wheat varieties that are adapted to different geographical regions and environmental conditions. The seven projects are funded through NIFA’s new International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP) program, part of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).

“Wheat delivers a significant amount of daily nutrients for American families and people around the world, “said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “As demand for wheat grows with the population, wheat research plays a vital role in meeting that need. These grants help support agricultural researchers developing new wheat varieties with greater yield and help us improve global collaboration on wheat research.”

Grants announced today include:

  • University of California, Davis, Calif., $1,696,000
  • University of California, Davis, Calif., $300,000
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla., $250,000
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., $300,000
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., $300,000
  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb., $300,000
  • South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D., $300,000

Project details can be found on the NIFA website.

Among the projects announced today, scientists from Kansas State University will use the advancing technology of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) outfitted with cutting-edge imaging tools to rapidly assess field trials in wheat breeding programs and use aerial images to gather precise measurements of plant traits relating to yield and health. A consortium of 19 institutions led by the University of California, Davis will train a new generation of 15 plant breeders as well as identify, characterize and deploy wheat genes to increase grain yield. This project builds on prior international, multi-institutional NIFA investments that have had direct positive impacts on wheat breeding.

This is the second year of investments in IWYP to enhance agricultural research that supports the G20 Nations’ Wheat Initiative, benefiting U.S. farmers and consumers as well as the global community. This international partnership includes USDA’s NIFA and the Agricultural Research Service; The U.S. Agency for International Development; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the United Kingdom; Grains Research and Development Corporation of Australia; Department of Biotechnology of India; Mexico’s International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; France’ Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique; and Switzerland’s Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture.

 

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