Improving crops key to food security

In *All, Food Security by AgIsAmerica

Research at land-grant institutions keeps the U.S. food production on the cutting edge when it comes to quality, nutrition, disease resistance and other factors that help keep our food system safe and contribute to national security.

Successful examples include:

  • In North Dakota, nitrogen fertilizers are the single largest expense for food crops such as wheat, corn, canola, barley, sugar beets and potatoes. Improving nitrogen use efficiency not only makes crops more profitable, but also reduces excessive fertilizer use which can run off into water supplies and contribute to greenhouse gases. Studies there found that variability of region, soil type and environmental conditions impact nitrogen uptake each year. To make more accurate nitrogen recommendations, researchers developed web-based nitrogen calculators for more efficient nitrogen use without decreasing crop yields.
  • At an 1890s institution in North Carolina, researchers are finding environmentally friendly ways to better control insect infestations in stored grains. They used essential oils found in cinnamon, cloves and thyme to be the most effective in controlling the maize weevil in stored organic corn. These oils also helped reduce mold without any change in shelf-life for the corn.

Source: National Impacts Database

Read the full impact statement.

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