Fresh from the Field, March 8, 2018

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Fresh from the Field is a weekly album showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Editor: Falita Liles                                                                                                 March 8, 2018

Reminder: NIFA’s 2017 Annual Report Available Now

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA) 2017 Annual Report: User Inspired Science Transforming Lives is available online. This year’s annual report highlights the transformative and exciting work by NIFA-funded partners in the areas of research, education, and extension. Read NIFA’s 2017 Annual Report to learn more about how the agency’s investments are moving it closer to its vision of catalyzing transformative discoveries, education, and engagement to address agricultural challenges. 

Success Stories 

Fresh From the Field Falita Liles

Do You Like Maple Syrup? It Likes You

Pure maple syrup contains 20 beneficial compounds that play a key role in human health. A researcher at the University of Rhode Island is investigating how bioactive compounds in maple syrup may help protect the body’s immune system; have a positive impact on chronic inflammation, including metabolic syndrome, brain health, and liver disease; and promote a healthy gut. The project will also produce new information on clinical markers of inflammation and insulin sensitivity. The results of this study may show that indulging in maple syrup does not have to be a guilty pleasure.

Read this and more stories from the Human Nutrition section of the 2017 Annual Report. Photo credit: Unsplash photo by Lindsay Moe.

Fresh from the Field editor Falita LilesUSDA Photo cattle checked for ticks

Preventing the Spread of Cattle Fever

Tick populations in Mexico transmitting cattle fever can be a deadly threat to cattle in Texas. Northern Arizona University researchers, in collaboration with Mexican scientists, are using tick collections to determine the genetic sources of tick populations in Texas, and to genotype populations resistant to pesticides. This information is important to prevent a resurgence of cattle fever, which has cost the cattle industry as much as $3 billion.

Read this Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) success story and more at AFRI Impacts in the 2017 Annual Report. USDA-ARS Photo.

photo credit NOAA March 8 Fresh From the Field

Nebraska Extension Tackles Extreme Weather

Nebraska has experienced five $1 billion severe-storm events since 2010. University of Nebraska Extension educators are helping Nebraskans increase their knowledge and use of climate and weather information and resources through four focus areas: climate literacy, natural resource management, extreme weather resiliency, and scenario-based planning. The team hosted climate science presentations for more than 1,000 producers and crop consultants and held field-to-market workshops.

Read this and more success stories from the 2017 Annual Report. Photo credit-NOAA.

31182110371 USDA Photo Fresh from the Field NIFA

Are Petite Poplars the Future of Biofuels? 

The wood of poplar trees are a good source for biofuels, but the challenge is waiting 10-20 years between harvest cycles. Researchers at University of Washington have reduced harvest time to 2-3 years. Juvenile trees can be planted closer together and trimmed in a way that ensures most of the branches sprout up from the stump. Leaves, bark, and stems are then harvested and manufactured into bio oil and ethanol. 

Read this Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) success story and more at AFRI Impacts in the 2017 Annual Report. USDA Photo.

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Fresh From the Field  editor Falita Liles March 8