USDA Invests $7.6 Million for Research on Pests and Beneficial Species

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 21 grants totaling $7.6 million for research to help manage pests and beneficial species that affect agricultural crops. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“There continues to be a critical need to develop new ways to defend our crops against pests,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA investments will also help to develop better strategies to foster the beneficial insects and microbes that have potential to combat pests.” Continue reading

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) – Foundational Program

The AFRI Foundational Program supports grants in the six AFRI priority areas to continue building a foundation of knowledge critical for solving current and future societal challenges. The six priority areas are: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health; Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Agriculture Systems and Technology; and Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities. The program supports single-function and integrated research projects as standard, conference, and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) grants to address one of the Program Area Priorities (see AFRI Foundational Program Request for Applications for details). Continue reading

USDA Awards $6.7 Million for Research to Support Healthy Agroecosystems

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 18 grants totaling more than $6.7 million for research to discover how components of the agroecosystem from soil, water and sun to plants, animals and people, interact with and affect food production. These awards are made through NIFA’s Bioenergy and Natural Resources Program, Agroecosystem priority area of the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).

“Population growth, along with environmental factors, including the growing threat of climate change, are putting increasing demand on the land, water and other resources that produce our food,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These investments will help us understand how we can farm more effectively and sustainably to feed the growing global population.” Continue reading

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces $130 Million Available for Foundational Agricultural Research, Education and Extension

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that $130 million in funding is available for research, education, and extension projects to support sustainable, productive and economically viable plant and animal production systems, including certified organic production. This funding is available through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“Investing in agricultural research ensures that our farmers and ranchers have innovative, safe and sustainable management practices to meet the food needs of the rising world population,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “In addition, studies have shown that every dollar invested in agricultural research now returns over $20 to our economy.” Continue reading