Fresh From the Field, March 7, 2019

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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                                                                                                 March 7, 2019

Success Stories 

Wild banana. Pixaby photo. NIFA Impacts. Fresh From the Field. Hawaii.

International Crop Genetic Resources for Improving Banana and Papaya in Hawaii

Banana Bunchy Top Virus (BBTV) has become a serious disease in Hawaii, limiting production of commercial banana clones since its appearance 30 years ago. A broadly based collection of banana germplasm was screened in field and greenhouse trials in 2012-2015 and research revealed productive clones with naturally occurring resistance to BBTV. Ongoing research at the University of Hawaii includes a replicated field trial to confirm the resistance, taste tests to determine consumer acceptability, and development of cloning methods to propagate the BBTV-resistant clones efficiently. The longer disease-free production window offered by the resistant clones will provide relief from BBTV to local banana growers.

NIFA supports this research with Hatch Act Funding.

Learn more about this project at NIFA’s Data Gateway.

News Coverage

Preschoolers in Appalachia . West Virginia 4-H Program. NIFA Impacts. Photo by  WVSU Extension.

Curating the Farmers of Tomorrow

Ensuring the long-term sustainability of U.S. agriculture requires introducing agricultural education to young people. West Virginia State University’s 4-H is establishing school gardens and leading activities in preschool settings, teaching sustainability, environmental awareness, and appreciation for outdoor spaces to youths under the age of five. To date, the program is available at several schools in three counties, reaching more than 600 youths. Students at two schools saw the highest increase in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activation and inquiry, which school administrators attributed directly to the program’s interactions.

NIFA supports the 1890 Capacity Building Grants Program.

Read more about the project at NIFA’s Data Gateway.


Rice Green. Pixabay Image.

Rice Rice Baby

Michael R. Schläppi, a researcher at Marquette University, Wisconsin, has determined that certain rice varieties are suitable for cultivation in a cold climate such as Wisconsin's. NIFA supported Schläppi’s work with an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) grant to study the mechanisms of cold stress tolerance in rice. The AFRI grant provided funds to screen and re-screen hundreds of germplasm from the USDA rice collection, and to perform field evaluations of selected rice lines generated for this project. Schläppi then partnered with a local non-government organization and, with funding from Marquette University, involved local Hmong farmers to establish a rice cultivation business in the Milwaukee area. The Hmong have a rich history and tradition of growing rice.

Read the full story at Marquette University’s page

Tweet of the Week


NIFAImpacts Agrability March 2019