USDA awards $16.5 million in grants to boost ag productivity

USDA awards $16.5 million in grants to boost ag productivity

Projects receiving support focus on agriculture production systems, breeding and genomics of crops and livestock and a national strategy for sustainable production.

USDA awarded $16.5 million in grants to support research into methods for boosting agriculture productivity and ensuring food security in the face of pests, diseases and a changing climate.

Related: $44 million available through Value-Added Producer Grant program

"In the face of diminishing land and water resources and increasingly variable climatic conditions, food production must increase to meet the demands of a world population projected to pass 9 billion by 2050," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "Funding in research to respond to these challenges should be considered as an investment in our nation's future, an investment which will pay big dividends in the years to come."

USDA awarded grants to boost ag productivity; announces next round of grants focused on pollinator health. (Photo: maxsattana/Thinkstock)

The awards and available funding announced May 3 fall into the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Food Security Challenge Area, which funds projects that increase agricultural productivity and the availability and accessibility of safe, nutritious food. Fiscal year 2015 projects receiving support focus on agriculture production systems, breeding and genomics of crops and livestock, and a national strategy for sustainable crop and livestock production. Since 2010, NIFA has awarded more than $219 million to the AFRI Food Security Challenge Area.

Fiscal year 2015 grants include:
-USDA Agricultural Research Service, Fort Collins, Colo., $50,000
-University of Illinois, Champaign, Ill., $2,397,840
-Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., $500,000
-Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, $10,000
-University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky., $120,000
-University of Maryland, College Park, Md., $2,397,840
-Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., $2,327,840
-University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., $2,000,000
-North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D., $50,000
-North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D., $2,147,839
-South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D., $2,382,840
-Utah State University, Logan, Utah, $150,000
-Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., $40,000
-Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., $2,000,000

Information on all of these FY15 projects can be found on the NIFA website.

Submit your proposal

USDA is seeking applications for the next round of projects, which will focus on pollinator health and plant and animal phenomics. The grants are made available through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), administered by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Established by the 2008 Farm Bill and re-authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, AFRI is the nation's premier, peer-reviewed competitive grants program for fundamental and applied agricultural sciences.

Related: USDA awards $30 million to fund 80 research projects

Fiscal year 2016 food security project proposals should emphasize pollinator health as well as breeding and phenomics of food crops and animals. Applications are due July 7, 2016, for a total of $16.8 million in available funding. For the first time, grant awards will be equally co-funded by eligible national and state commodity boards, as authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. See the request for applications for more information.

Source: USDA

TAGS: USDA
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