Applying Alternatives: Leveraging the Soil Microbiome to Fight Disease

Charcoal rot is a soilborne disease caused by a fungus (Macrophomina phaseolina) that results in significant crop losses. At Kansas State University, a team of researchers quantified the...

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Boosting Broccoli

Broccoli is a high-value crop worth nearly one billion dollars per year. Although there is growing consumption in the Eastern United States, very little broccoli has been produced there....

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Building Blueberry Businesses

The Florida blueberry industry got its start in the 1970s when the University of Florida (UF) Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences developed the first Southern Highbush blueberry...

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Capitalizing on Cranberries

Both cranberries and blueberries are botanically part of the Vaccinium species. The U.S. Vaccinium industry’s domestic wholesale value exceeds $2 billion per year. Although production and...

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Collaborating on Corn

U.S. farmers produce 41 percent of the world’s corn on 400,000 farms located primarily in the Midwest Corn Belt region. American production value of corn was over $50 billion in 2018. The...

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Comparing the Impacts of Future Air Pollution and Rising Temperatures on Key Crops

Dr. Heald’s work suggests that adaptation efforts replacing corn with wheat should be coupled with initiatives limiting ozone pollution to maximize production. While the team estimated...

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Creating an Early Detection System for Florida’s Diversifying Agriculture Sector

Dr. Carrie Lapaire Harmon’s lab, Florida’s Plant Diagnostic Center, serves as the state’s early detection system. Her lab is equipped to quickly test and diagnose numerous plant diseases,...

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Deciphering Decisions: Using Digital Tools to Help Farmers Plant the Right Seeds

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis are using machine learning to help farmers make informed planting decisions. The computational models allow farmers to receive the top...

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Deploying Drones: Helping Farmers Utilize New Technology to Improve Efficiency

Dr. Williams and his colleagues at Fort Valley State University (FVSU) are bridging-the-gap of information between drones’ technological advances and farmers’ needs and expectations. In...

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Fast-tracking an Improved Wheat Harvest

Dubcovsky leads a collaboration of wheat-breeding labs throughout the U.S. whose work has made this acceleration possible. He and his colleagues have mapped out more than 90,000 genetic...

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Finding Resistance in the Saliva of Crop Pests

When caterpillars attack tomato plants, proteins in the insect saliva disarm the tomato defenses. Dr. Felton and his colleagues have identified another set of proteins in caterpillar...

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Growing Guayule and Guar

Although they are not household words, guar gum (an extraction from guar beans) and guayule (a desert shrub) represent huge domestic and global markets. Demand for guar gum in the United...

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Harnessing a Flood of Data to Improve Rice Production

Dr. McCouch and Dr. Wang analyzed genetic sequencing of all the rice varieties whose seeds lie in the public domain to determine the genetics responsible for production levels in specific...

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Harnessing Plants to Produce Safer, Less Expensive Drugs

Dr. Elizabeth Sattely and her team are exploring how plants can be re-engineered to serve as miniature chemical production facilities to produce a wide array of biological agents.

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Improving Irrigation: Developing Sensors to Measure Thirst in Plants

Dr. Stroock and his team are developing sensors to detect the thirst of apple trees in order to more precisely irrigate orchards. Instead of using traditional techniques to estimate water...

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Maximizing Biodegradable Mulch

Vegetable and fruit growers pay for a lot of plastic – $3.4 billion in worldwide sales in 2017. Farmers use plastic mulch to suppress weeds, retain moisture, prevent soil erosion, and...

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Neutralizing “cousins” of the Irish Potato Famine Pathogen That Destroy Soybeans

Phytophthora sojae is one of the most disruptive pathogens in soybean fields across the U.S. These scientists used information from P. sojae genomes to develop new diagnostic tools and to...

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Powering Pecans: Leveraging Genetics to Defend Crops Against Disease and Weather

Dr. Randall and her team are utilizing the available natural genetic diversity in pecans for future breeding of better seeds. The ultimate goal of the research is to produce trees with...

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Protecting Soil and Water With Strips of Native Prairie

Dr. Lisa Schulte Moore and Dr. Matthew Helmers lead an interdisciplinary team of scientists who have found an innovative way to minimize runoff, keeping water clean without sacrificing...

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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. Dr. Barbara Valent took on the blast-fungus challenge....

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Reducing Allergens in Peanuts

Nearly three million children and adults in the U.S. suffer from peanut allergies and their severe medical consequences. Dr. Jianmei Yu and her colleagues at N.C. State University...

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Reinforcing Resilience: Leveraging Super Computers to Predict Crop Yields and Water Requirements

Dr. Guan and his team use computer modeling to determine how increasing temperatures impact soybean growth and crop production.  This enables them to more accurately predict the future...

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Safeguarding Goats and Sheep

The barber pole worm poses a great threat to the small ruminant (sheep and goat) industry. These harmful miniature predators cause irreversible damage to sheep and goats, including...

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Saving Soybeans

The total value of the U.S. soybean crop was $41 billion in 2016 according to the American Soybean Association. Soybean is heavily impacted by root and stem rot diseases caused by...

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Software for Soybeans: Using Drone Technology and Computer Analysis to Evaluate New Plant Varieties

Dr. Rainey and Dr. Cherkauer are automating part of the breeding process for soybeans. Drones fly over test plots and record high-resolution photos in a fraction of the time that it would...

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Strengthening Citrus

The Florida citrus industry, directly and indirectly, generates approximately 45,000 full-time jobs with a total economic impact of approximately $8.6 billion per year in the state....

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Winning With Wheat

Funded by USDA, the International Wheat Yield Partnership Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) and its predecessor Triticeae CAP (T-CAP) focused on improving wheat and barley for...

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