Retaking the Field Vol. 2

 


retaking_the_field_vol2_coverRetaking the Field: Strengthening the Science of Farm and Food Production is a collaborative report from eleven universities and the SoAR Foundation.  The report — the second in SoAR’s series — shows how scientists are solving some of the thorniest questions in food production and highlights research breakthroughs funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).  It is part of SoAR’s broader education and advocacy to encourage additional federal support for food and agricultural research.

From removing peanut allergens to protecting tomatoes with caterpillar saliva, “Retaking the Field” tells stories about exciting advances and innovative research in the animal and plant sciences from Cornell University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Michigan State University, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, Penn State University, Ohio State University, Texas A&M University, University of California – Davis, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

We welcome your feedback as well as your help in spreading the word about this new report. To access a full electronic copy, click here.


Research Success Stories

 


Texas A&M University (1)TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

Identifying the Genetic Blueprint for Healthier Cattle

Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) is a combination of viral and bacterial cattle infections made worse by the stress of transportation to the feedlot. The USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System estimates that 21 percent of beef cattle placed in feedlots are infected with BRD, costing the industry approximately $692 million annually. Continue reading… 

 


OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

Helping Chickens Breathe Easier

The poultry industry generates $441 billion for the US economy and provides 1.7 million American jobs. Yet even an industry this prodigious can be stopped in its tracks. The 2015 avian flu outbreak required the slaughter of 50 million chickens and turkeys. Continue reading…

 


Senior Photographer

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

Boosting Heat Stress Tolerance in Turkeys

The perfect deli sandwich starts with optimal living conditions for turkeys everywhere. Temperature stress right before processing turkey directly impacts the quality of turkey meat that consumers expect and enjoy. Continue reading…

 

 


Iowa State University

IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

Clearing the Air in a Cage-Free Production System

The current trend for egg-laying hens to be kept in cage-free barns sounds appealing from a humane perspective. But consumer food companies have pledged to procure only cage-free eggs without coordinating with their producers. As much as 72 percent of all producer capacity would have to switch to cage-free systems by 2025 to meet current commitments.  Continue reading… 


University of Nebrask - LincolnUNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA, LINCOLN

Improving Pig Fertility to Boost Efficiency

Raising pigs is a tricky business. High production costs place a premium on effective breeding practices. Genetic and economic studies show that sows need to reach puberty early and subsequently produce enough litters to offset production and maintenance costs. Continue reading…


Penn StatePENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

Finding Resistance in the Saliva of Crop Pests

Contrary to what many people think, plants don’t sit helplessly when attacked by insects. Tomato plants, for example, respond to injuries by producing hairs on their leaves that are sticky and contain toxic compounds to insects. Continue reading…

 


www.mantis.cz/mikrofotografieVIRGINIA TECH

Neutralizing “Cousins” of the Irish Potato Famine Pathogen that Destroy Soybeans

Although oomycetes do not have household name recognition, this group contains hundreds of species that annually cause tens of billions of dollars in crop losses. A dramatic and historic example is Phytophthora infestans, which caused the Irish potato famine. Continue reading…

 


North Carolina A&T State University (1)

NORTH CAROLINA AGRICULTURAL AND TECHNICAL STATE UNIVERSITY

Reducing Allergens in Peanuts

Nearly three million children and adults in the U.S. suffer from peanut allergies and their severe medical consequences. Most consumer food products identify if they have been produced in a facility that handles peanuts. Continue reading… 

 


Kansas StateKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY

Racing Against the Clock to Beat the Blast Fungus

The rice blast fungus is a feared pathogen, even after genetic research discovered how to introduce resistance in rice plants. When wheat fields in Brazil were infected by the blast fungus in 1985, scientists grew anxious that the wheat pathogen would spread before tools to control it could be developed. Continue reading…


CORNELL UNIVERSITY

Harnessing a Flood of Data to Improve Rice Production

For decades, the USDA and local organizations have compiled data that could help rice growers and breeders if only this information was crunched in a way that was easy to access and use. Continue reading…

 


UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS

Fast-tracking an Improved Wheat Harvest

Fifty years ago, Norman Borlaug toiled for a decade to breed more productive varieties of wheat. His team’s efforts saved several million people from starvation. Today, Dr. Jorge Dubovsky and a team of wheat breeders are accelerating this process. Continue reading…