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NIFA announces grants to study the effects of climate change on agricultural and forest production
Date:2/18/2011

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2011 USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today awarded three Coordinated Agriculture Projects (CAP) representing a major scientific investment in studying the effects of climate change on agriculture and forest production. NIFA Director Roger Beachy made the announcement today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.

"Climate change has already had an impact on agriculture production. Going forward agriculture producers need sound scientific information to plan and make decisions to ensure their economic viability," Beachy said. "These projects ensure we have the best available tools to accurately measure the effects of climate change on agriculture, develop effective methods to sustain productivity in a changing environment and pass these resources on to the farmers and industry professionals who can put the research into practice."

A research team led by Dr. Tim Martin, of the University of Florida, will receive $20 million over five years to study climate change mitigation and adaptation as it relates to southern pines, particularly loblolly pine, which comprises 80 percent of the planted forestland in the Southeast. The team of 12 institutions will establish a regional network to monitor the effects of climate change and use the information to develop genetic breeding programs to breed plants that can adapt to changes in climate.

The project will train seven postdoctoral associates and 29 graduate students and also deliver educational resources and training to landowners, resource managers and policymakers.

A team led by Dr. Sanford Eigenbrode, of the University of Idaho, will receive $20 million over five years to monitor changes in soil carbon and nitrogen levels and greenhouse gas emissions related to mitigation of and adaptation to climate change in the region's agriculture, which produces 13 percent of the nation's
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Contact: Jennifer Martin
jmartin@nifa.usda.gov
202-720-8188
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics
Source:Eurekalert

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