National Academies releases report on ag, food research priorities | TheFencePost.com

National Academies releases report on ag, food research priorities

-The Hagstrom Report

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today released Science Breakthroughs 2030, an effort to determine the most promising scientific opportunities in the next decade within the fields of food and agriculture.

Over the past year, NASEM canvassed researchers in a variety of fields through a series of live events and webinars. Through a consensus-building process, more than 150 scientists identified the following as the five most important initiatives that need to be addressed:

The potential of microbiomes — in the animal gut, in soil, and everywhere in between — to increase efficiency and overcome obstacles in production.

Advancements in genetic evaluation and editing, including making the most of CRISPR – used to edit genomes – and other technologies to accelerate the evolution of food production.

Expanding and analyzing the many pools of data involved in growing and producing food.

Developing and improving sensors and biosensors across all agricultural sectors to increase productivity and better target interventions.

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Examining, through transdisciplinary collaborations, entire systems in food production and finding the keys to adapting and transforming them to overcome challenges and increase production.

Breakthroughs 2030, a $1.12 million effort, was launched with financial support from more than 20 sources in the university, public health, and agricultural sectors as well as federal agencies. Major funders include Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, Supporters of Agricultural Research Foundation, and the Agriculture Department's National Institute for Food and Agriculture.

"The areas outlined provide a clear rallying point for the food and agriculture research community to focus on areas of greatest impact that will directly affect American farmers in the next 10 years," said Sally Rockey, FFAR executive director.

"Agriculture is confronting a crisis no less epic than the dustbowl of the 1930s," said Thomas Grumbly, president of the SoAR. "The American scientific community has now mapped out how we can transform food production, answering many of the challenges that have emerged to getting dinner on the table every night. It's on us now to implement this blueprint."

To read more about the report go to http://nas-sites.org/dels/studies/agricultural-science-breakthroughs/.