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USDA Research Center To Pursue More Water-Efficient Crops

A USDA research center planned in Nebraska aims to boost crop yields in the face of water shortages in the West and drought in the Midwest. Nebraska Representative Mike Flood asked House Ag appropriators for continued funding of a planned USDA national research center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

When built, he says the center will anchor a network of ARS and land grant universities aimed at filling one of the most critical ‘science gaps’ in agriculture. Flood said, “This precision agriculture center will allow us to learn and research how to raise more corn, more grains, and more soybeans, with less water. And that pays a dividend to every single American and our food security.”

Congress has already approved over $11 million for design work and $45 million for the first phase of construction to start in the next month. A second phase including labs hinges on the full funding Flood seeks. He argues the investment is well worth it. Flood said, “We believe in precision and regenerative agriculture. We want to learn how to raise even more corn with less water and teach the rest of the world how to do the same.”

Relying on a network of researchers to get it done; “This is the kind of synergy between government, universities, industry, and small businesses, that will benefit USDA, Nebraska, our nation’s Ag economy, and producers across the nation.”

Dealing with periodic drought in the Midwest to long-term water shortages in the West.

Story courtesy of NAFB News Service and Matt Kaye/Berns Bureau Washington

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