NIFA Invests $35 Million in Specialty Crop Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 12 new grants totaling $35 million for science-based solutions and new technology for the specialty crop industry.  Funding is made through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Specialty crops generally fetch high value for the farmers, but require more intensive farming than conventional crops, such as wheat or corn,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA investments in specialty crop research provide high-tech solutions to the needs of farmers and processors. They foster a competitive U.S. industry that offers abundant, nutritious, safe and affordable food sources.” Continue reading

Study investigates impact of strip tillage on a high-value crop

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

A study done by researchers at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde may help producers in the Texas Winter Garden region and other areas decide whether conservation tillage methods might benefit them in the production of high-value crops.

Conducted by Dr. Daniel Leskovar, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research vegetable physiologist and center director, in collaboration with Drs. Yahia Othman and Xuejun Dong, the study also includes research results on how strip tillage affects soil biological activity. Continue reading