Fresh from the Field, April 19, 2018

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

Editor: Falita Liles                                                                                                 April 19, 2018

Success Stories 

saraswat drone Fresh From the Field NIFAImpacts Apr 19

New Tool Serves as Digital Logbook for Drone Users

Purdue University researcher Dharmendra Saraswat led development of a free, web-based application that will allow those using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to easily log their flight-related data.

The UAS User Log is a digital log book available worldwide to assist those using UAS, or drones, for research, crop production, spray applications, and other activities. The logbook provides options to interactively record the date, time, and location of a flight; the make, model, and registration information of the device; status of battery charge; type of flight (autonomous or manual); types of sensors used and data collected; safety precautions taken; weather during the flight; and other related information.

NIFA supports this project with the Hatch Act Program.

Read the full story at Purdue University. Purdue University photo.

News Coverage 

Fresh from the Field NOAA photo UH Manoa NIFAImpacts

Rising Water Temperatures, Coral Reefs, and Human Impact

A new study involving an interdisciplinary group of researchers with University of Hawaii (UH) ties has produced the first-ever comprehensive map documenting the relative impact of human activities and natural events in slowing reef recovery after extreme coral bleaching caused by rising water temperatures in Hawai‘i.

The study, a large, multi-institution collaboration between Stanford, UH, Stockholm Resilience Center, NOAA, and others, synthesized 10 years of datasets from university and government sources across many factors for the first time to get a big-picture perspective on reef health and regional impacts, provide a foundation for further research and inform policies to protect coral reefs.

NIFA supports this research with the Hatch Act Program.

Read the full article at UH. Photo by NOAA.

The Library 

Ph.D. student Travis Parker is helping breed bean varieties that can flourish in organic systems. Photo/ Bob Johnson, Ag Alert

UC Davis Students Breed Beans for Organic Farming

Graduate students at the University of California, Davis, have begun field tests on very rare commodities: high-yield, disease-resistant bean varieties that can thrive on organic farms.

“Most crops — about 95 percent — have been bred for conventional farming and can be difficult to grow in organic systems. These new bean varieties could make a big difference in performance and profitability of organic legumes like pinto, black, and kidney beans, as well as heirloom-like varieties with high culinary quality,” according to Travis Parker, a Ph.D. student in plant biology who is leading the project.

To create a winning variety, breeders cross plants with desired traits and select the best offspring over multiple generations. It takes several years of plot testing to give birth to a variety good enough to name and sell. With each new generation of crops, breeders select plants that perform well in the system in which they are being raised.

NIFA supports this research through the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant program.

Read the full article at UC Davis. Photo of Travis Parker by Bob Johnson, Ag Alert. 

Tweet of the Week


Fresh from the Field tweet NIFAImpacts April 19 UACRE