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We must enhance the sustainability, competitiveness, and profitability of U.S. food and agricultural systems.

Agricultural and food production systems are increasingly vulnerable to rising energy costs, loss of key fertilizer sources (e.g., phosphorus deposits), and climate variability. We need new approaches to ecological management and more energy-efficient agricultural practices to meet food needs, provide sufficient economic returns to producers, and deliver multiple environmental benefits.


Our areas of scientific focus are:

  • Developing profitable agricultural systems that conserve and recycle water through

    • innovative methods to capture and store rainfall and runoff

    • use of impaired waters for irrigation

    • development of new crop varieties with enhanced water-use efficiency

    • increased productivity of rain-fed agricultural systems

    • development of livestock grazing systems that have increased flexibility and resiliency to drought

  • Developing institutional mechanisms that create incentives for sharing agricultural water and that increase public support for balancing the requirements for food production on the one hand and the life-quality issues of society on the other

  • Developing new plant and animal production systems, products, and uses to increase economic return to producers

  • Improving the productivity of organic and sustainable agriculture

  • Improving agricultural productivity by sustainable means, considering climate, energy, water, and land use challenges

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Discover Our Roadmap
for the Future

This new Science Roadmap for Food and Agriculture will be essential in its contribution to fulfilling the land-grant mission to extend cutting-edge research to solve critical problems for the public good.

It establishes a benchmark for future dialogue around these crucial societal challenges. It provides a justification for continued and even expanded public investment in research in these Grand Challenge areas over the next 10 years

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