Innovation Strategy Report to Guide USDA Research Moving Forward

Brian German Agri-Business, Industry

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released its U.S. Agriculture Innovation Strategy Directional Vision for Research summary and dashboard. USDA will use the information from the summary report as a guide for future research. The development of the document and dashboard are part of the overall Agriculture Innovation Agenda (AIA).

Innovation Strategy

“This initial report is a culmination of creative minds from across the agricultural community,” Deputy Under Secretary Scott Hutchins said in a news release. “Innovation and ingenuity have always been key to solving critical agricultural production challenges and will also be critical for addressing new and emerging challenges on the horizon—and our stakeholders advocated for some truly bold goals.

The innovation strategy report was developed using input from industry stakeholders. Four areas of innovation were highlighted during the outreach efforts. Respondents were asked specifically about genome design, digital automation, prescriptive intervention, and systems-based farm management. Extensive stakeholder input was used to determine where improvements may be made to help meet the goals for development in those areas.

Hundreds of responses were received through the comment process and stakeholder-led workshops. Hutchins, who is responsible for the research efforts under the AIA, said that the innovation strategy report will play a significant role in driving the development of agricultural solutions. The goal is for the report to help guide research efforts addressing AIA goals over the next 10 to 30 years. USDA will continue industry outreach for further guidance on research goals and potential barriers for future innovation.

Each of the developments, the innovation strategy report and dashboard, are meant to serve as starting points to strengthen research goals. The public dashboard was developed as a way to better educate industry stakeholders. The tool allows stakeholders to better understand future research priorities, which are divided into three categories. Research goals are categorized as near-term solutions, longer-term transformational solutions, and next-era concepts.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West