Apr 28, 2021MSU’s late blight-wild species potato project among NIFA grants
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) invested over $8.65 million in 22 plant breeding research projects through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative program.
“Plant breeding is a critical link in helping agriculture mitigate climate change,” said NIFA director Carrie Castille. “These innovative projects will advance crop production efficiency, healthfulness, product quality, and the value of U.S. agricultural plants while increasing farmer profitability and sustainability.”
Some research funded from the Plant Breeding for Agricultural Production Agriculture and Food Research Initiative priority area include:
- Texas A&M University’s project, “Unoccupied Aerial System Enabled Phenomic Selection to Develop Improved Southern Maize Hybrids,” to evaluate using drones to improve speed and accuracy of decision-making.
- Michigan State University’s project, “Mining the Wild Species Solanum Microdontum for Improvement of Cultivated Potato,” to enable efficient late blight and heat resistant potato varieties.
- University of California-Davis’ project, “Plant Breeding Partnerships: Breeding Pepper for Mechanical Harvesting II,” to develop competitive green chile pepper varieties amenable to mechanical harvesting.
The Plant Breeding for Agricultural Production grants include a co-funded project by the Kansas Wheat Commission through the Farm Bill commodity boards topic provision, as well as five cultivar development projects aimed at accelerating testing, evaluating and releasing publicly finished wheat, triticale, sorghum, and canola cultivars for farmers.
NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and Extension across the nation to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA supports initiatives that ensure the long-term viability of agriculture and applies an integrated approach to ensure that groundbreaking discoveries in agriculture-related sciences and technologies reach the people who can put them into practice. In FY2020, NIFA’s total investment was $1.95 billion.