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USDA Awards Grants to Help Agriculture Producers Adapt to Global Climate Change Effects

Media Contact: Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2011 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded 13 grants to research possibilities for agriculture and forestry producers to adapt to climate change and to best take advantage of variable climate patterns.

These grants were awarded through USDA’s highly competitive Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and administered through NIFA. AFRI supports work in six priority areas: plant health and production and plant products; animal health and production and animal products; food safety, nutrition and health; renewable energy, natural resources and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities.

“Anticipating and adjusting to long-term climate patterns is vital for successful agricultural production,” said Chavonda Jacobs-Young, acting NIFA director. “Sound science helps farmers, ranchers and foresters make the right decisions to reduce the effects of climate change and increased variability on their operations. The grants we are announcing today support a wide range of fundamental global agricultural concerns, from cereal crops and animal production to forestry and pest management.”

Today’s announcement represents an investment of more than $53 million to study how climate patterns and variability affect agricultural production. The long-term goal of these USDA-sponsored projects is to help prepare the nation’s agricultural and forestry sectors for unpredictable global climate effects, while helping agricultural and forest production systems play a valuable role in addressing the global challenge of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing carbon sequestration.

Fiscal Year 2010 projects were funded in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Project highlights include:

  • A project in Arkansas to evaluate options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from swine operations and develop accessible and practical means for swine producers put these options into practice.
  • A project in Indiana to study the biophysical and economic factors related to climate change and examine the challenges to successful cereal crop harvests presented by climate variability, while developing training materials to help farmers make effective decisions to keep their operations productive and successful.
  • A project in California to develop strategies for rice growers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the state’s primary water supply hub, to maintain economic competitiveness while improving water quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

A full list of awardees can be found online at: www.nifa.usda.gov/newsroom/news/2011news/
climate_change_awards.html
.

AFRI is NIFA’s flagship competitive grant program and was established under the 2008 Farm Bill.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future.  More information is available at: www.nifa.usda.gov.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.  To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).