USDA awards $6.7 million in grants for agrocosystem research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded 18 grants totaling more than $6.7 million for research to discover how components of the agroecosystem, from soil, water and sun to plants, animals and people, interact with and affect food production.

The awards are made through NIFA's Bioenergy and Natural Resources Program, Agroecosystem priority area of the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).

Agroecosystems may include crop production systems, animal production systems, and pasture, range and forest lands that are actively managed to provide economic, societal and environmental benefits.

Projects funded through this program area contribute to the knowledge needed for sustainable production of agroecosystems while retaining needed ecosystem services-such as drinking water, pollination and climate regulation.

"Population growth, along with environmental factors, including the growing threat of climate change, are putting increasing demand on the land, water and other resources that produce our food," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "These investments will help us understand how we can farm more effectively and sustainably to feed the growing global population."

NIFA's AFRI Foundational: Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment Program supports research on healthy agroecosystems and their underlying natural resources essential to the sustained long-term production of agricultural goods and services.

The University of Arizona, University of Florida, University of Illinois North Carolina State University, Ohio State University and Utah State University are among those receiving grants.

Organizations in this story

United States Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave SW Washington, DC - 20250

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