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USDA/NIFA Invests in Programs to Increase Crop Productivity, Profitability, and Stewardship of Three Crops

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support for research to increase the productivity, profitability, and natural resources stewardship of canola, potato, and alfalfa production systems. The grants are funded through three NIFA programs: Alfalfa and Forage Research, Supplemental and Alternative Crops, and Potato Breeding Research.

“For American farmers to continue to prosper and help feed the world, research serves as an accelerator for discovering innovative ways to increase farm productivity and profitability,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “These programs help sustain and expand the acreage and use of alfalfa, potatoes, and canola for long-lasting impacts through collaborations between universities, federal agencies, and industry organizations around the country.” Continue reading

NIFA Announces $1.85 million for Potato Breeding Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of $1.85 million in funding for regional potato breeding research to support the development of superior-performing varieties that can be brought to market as soon as possible. The United States is one of the top potato producers worldwide, and industry sales estimates topped $3.6 billion in 2015.

“Potatoes constitute a significant proportion of our diets, and there’s urgent need to continue to develop varieties with value-added traits, including a nutrient profile that promotes growth and development in children,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, director of NIFA. Continue reading

Special Research Grants Program, Potato Breeding Research

The purpose of this grant program is to support potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) research programs that focus on varietal development and testing and potato varieties for commercial production. As used herein, varietal development and testing is research using conventional breeding and/or biotechnological genetics to develop improved potato varieties. Aspects of evaluation, screening and testing must support variety development.

Read more about this opportunity.

Harvest, psyllids, new varieties hot topics at potato field day in Texas

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

The hot potato news in the High Plains is harvest is underway, psyllids are threatening unharvested fields and new varieties are showing lots of promise.

These were some of the “headlines” shared with about 60 producers and researchers gathered recently for the 25th annual Texas Potato Breeding and Variety Development Program field day near Springlake in the Bruce Barrett potato fields. Continue reading