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What is the 'grand challenge' facing the future of agriculture?
Date:2/24/2010

MADISON, WI, FEBRUARY 22, 2010 -- What are the top research questions facing agriculture? Earlier this year, the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) sought out the opinions of its members and leadership to develop a Grand Challenge statement, key questions, and expected outcomes.

ASA Grand Challenge

The Society -- through a process involving its members, staff, and leaders -- identified a "Grand Challenge" statement that encompasses the future of agriculture:

Double global food, feed, fiber, and fuel production on existing farmland within the 21st century with production systems that:

  • enable food security;
  • use resources more efficiently;
  • enhance soil, water, and air quality, biodiversity, and ecosystem health; and
  • are economically viable and socially responsible

At the core of ASA's Grand Challenge statement is the creation of topics that include key questions along with expected outcomes.

According to ASA President Francis J. Pierce of Washington State University, the top research advances in global food security, sustainable biofuels, nutrition, and climate change, can all point to ASA's 'Grand Challenge' statement as the basis for the future of agriculture.

"We are excited about the advances that are taking place in agriculture," says Pierce. "Our scientific Society and our members as agronomists have a tremendous role to play in meeting this 'grand challenge' of doubling global food, feed, fiber, and fuel production within the 21st century. Our Grand Challenge brings new insight and ideas and renewed focus to the Society."

A team of ASA members had primary responsibility for formulating the Grand Challenge statement, Key Questions, and Expected Outcomes for the Society. This team included the following ASA members:

  • Shabtai Bittman, Agriculture & Agri-Food, Canada
  • Kenneth G. Cassman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Achim Dob
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Contact: Sara Uttech
suttech@sciencesocieties.org
608-268-4948
American Society of Agronomy
Source:Eurekalert

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