Fresh From the Field, May 9, 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                                                                                                 May 9, 2019

Success Stories 

OSU developed an audit system that helps producers use water efficiently. Photo by Oklahoma State University. USDA NIFA Impacts

Water Efficiency and Energy

Agriculture is the largest user of fresh water in Oklahoma, the nation and world. Efficient use of water and energy is critical to sustaining agricultural systems, while misuse contributes to the scarcity of these resources and pollution of downstream ecosystems. Experts with the Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station and Oklahoma Water Resources Center developed an auditing system for irrigation efficiency. Adopters of audit recommendations improved water use efficiency and recognized energy cost savings as high as $4,000 per every 1,000 hours of pump system usage.

NIFA supports this outreach through the Cooperative Extension Service.

To learn more, visit We Are Oklahoma Impact Area-Water.

News Coverage

Florida 4-H Workforce. USDA NIFA Fresh From the Field.  Photo: AdobeStock_89565039

Workforce Ready and True Leaders in Florida 

Florida 4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential by providing hands-on, educational programs in all 67 counties and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Each year more than 200,000 youth and 10,000 volunteers participate in 4-H learning experiences through clubs, school enrichment, and camping. In 2017, 4-H members worked on 279,000 projects, including STEM, Health, and Workforce Preparedness.

NIFA supports 4-H and Positive Youth Development.

Learn more about the impacts of Florida 4-H.


Adobe Stock . Red Stop sign-17/77239822. USDA NIFA Fresh From the Field.

Collaborative Research Sheds Light on  Plants 

With climate variability increasingly common, crop plants, such as corn, are frequently exposed to environmental stresses caused by drought and excess heat. With support from an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant, researchers at a U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service lab in Lubbock, Texas and Iowa State University collaborated to seek a better understanding of the genes that control heat stress using quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping approach that can identify genomic regions responsible for heat tolerance. One of the challenges of the work is that it is often difficult to separate the effects of drought stress from heat stress, as the two often occur at the same time. The authors solved the problem by keeping the plants well-watered while measuring heat tolerance. The most powerful finding of this study would be pinpointing genomic regions that are underlying the heat stress responses which would enable breeders to improve heat tolerance in corn.

To read the article, visit Iowa State University's Newsroom.

Tweet of the Week


UTM Ag.  NIFA Impacts. USDA NIFA Fresh From the Field