The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) made a significant investment in plant breeding research. NIFA has invested nearly $9 million dollars in 22 different plant breeding research projects through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative program. NIFA director Dr. Carrie Castille said that the projects will help to advance crop production efficiency and product quality.
The research investment is aimed at increasing the value of agricultural production while also increasing farm profitability and sustainability. Multiple projects from UC Davis have received grant funding, including one looking look at enhancing the productivity and nutritional quality of grain sorghum. Another project being funded is a a plant breeding partnership for the development of green chile pepper varieties suitable for mechanical harvesting. Additionally, UC Riverside was awarded funding for a project linking genomics and phenomics to improve horticultural traits in avocados.
Listen to the radio report below.