2014 BIOAg Projects Selected

March 6, 2014
By Chad Kruger

Since 2006, CSANR has provided seed funding for 60 new organic and sustainable agriculture research projects in Washington State through our BIOAg Program. These projects range from topics such as soil quality, organic and biological crop protection, and breeding, to livestock-crop integration, food safety and nutrition, and alternative crops. Projects have been funded in a wide diversity of crop and livestock production systems in the state, including tree fruit, cereal grains, small fruits, vegetables, forages, dairy, and a variety of other livestock systems.

Many of the projects we’ve helped initiate have gone on to secure substantial additional funding from other sources, including federal, regional, state and industry/foundation grants, greatly increasing the amount of organic and sustainable agriculture research occurring in Washington State. WSU has one of the largest and most diverse cadres of scientists currently conducting organic research of any institution in the country and this program has been a key investment in supporting that goal. Progress reports for these 60 projects, plus reports for extension and education mini-grants as well as research projects funded under our former Organic Crop Research program can be found in our Grants Database.

Nine new BIOAg research projects were recently selected for the Fiscal Year 2014 BIOAg solicitation. With guidance from our Advisory Committee, CSANR prioritized “soil quality” in the FY14 solicitation. This round of proposals was by far the most challenging and competitive, with 40 new proposals submitted for consideration – nearly half of which addressed the soil quality priority. Unfortunately, we had sufficient funds for only the top nine proposals and left a number of really compelling research projects unfunded.

As with prior rounds, this year’s projects represent a nice blend of ideas that range from basic to applied, address tree fruit, vegetable, cereal grain and livestock systems, and are likely to lead to many significant new insights and options to improve agricultural sustainability throughout the state. Twenty-nine scientists from nine WSU Departments plus USDA ARS will partner on these projects. All nine of these projects will provide findings relevant to both organic and non-organic production systems – a key goal of the BIOAg Program. The list of the FY14 projects is below.

 

Impact of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi on Phosphorus Use Efficiency and Root Diseases of Onion Crops.

Scientists: Lindsey du Toit*, Tim Paulitz, Dipak Sharma Poudyal

Monitoring Uptake of Legume Nitrogen by Apple Trees Using Nitrogen Isotope Discrimination.

Scientists: David Granatstein*, Kefyalew Desta, Pamela Pavek

A biologically intensive approach to induce the natural immunity of potatoes against pathogens inciting Late Blight and Verticillium wilt.

Scientists: Lee Hadwiger* and Dean Glawe

Exploring Root Architecture as a Defense against Soil-Borne Pathogens.

Scientists: Scot Hulbert*, Kim Garland-Campbell and Tim Paulitz

Economic Costs and Benefits of Soil Improvement Practices.

Scientists: Andy McGuire*, David Granatstein, Suzette Galinato, Peter Tozer

Beyond Beef and Barley Soup: Development of nutritionally dense, hulless food barley varieties.

Scientists: Kevin Murphy*, Giuliana Norrato, Janet Matanguihan, Raymond Kinney

Introducing Organic Quinoa Production Systems in the Palouse.

Scientists: John Reganold*, Chris Benedict, David Crowder, Kevin Murphy, Kate Painter

Biodiversity and the Natural Suppression of Human Pathogens.

Scientists: Bill Snyder*, Thomas Besser, John Reganold

Searching for Organic Antimicrobials.

Scientists: Meijun Zhu*, Lawrence Fox, Karen Killinger, Min Du, Shuming Zhang

 

*Project Lead

 

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