USDA to Fund Research on Next Generation of Agriculture Technology

Included among the grants announced today by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) is a University of California, Riverside project that uses electronics and chemistry to recover high-quality water, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and energy from agricultural wastewater.


AFRIis America’s flagship competitive grants program for foundational and translational research, education, and extension projects in the food and agricultural sciences. AFRI’s Agriculture Systems and Technology grants support the design and engineering of agricultural production systems and research on the burgeoning field of biomass, biofuels, feedstock, bioenergy, and bio-based products. These projects are expected to spur innovation in rural America and contribute to rural prosperity.

In another of the projects announced today, researchers at the University of Nebraska are developing an efficient irrigation system that combines imaging sensors on unmanned aerial vehicles, predictions of crop water use, and water sensors in soil.

Fiscal Year 2016 grants totaling $7.3 million included:

Agricultural Engineering

  • University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Lexington, KY, $500,000 and $498,726
  • Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, $149,983
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, $499,998
  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, $499,978; $499,916; and $499,896
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ, $50,000
  • Washington State University, Pullman, WA, $312,238

Bioprocessing and Bioengineering

  • Auburn University, Auburn, AL, $481,539
  • University of California, Riverside, CA, $480,843
  • University of Georgia, Athens, GA, $472,965
  • Iowa State University of Science and Technology, Ames, IA, $482,905
  • Sustainable Bioproducts LLC, Bozeman, MT, $482,829
  • The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, $482,448
  • University of North Texas, Denton, TX, $482,905
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, $482,752

Project details can be found at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) website.