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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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ARRA - Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center, Fargo, North Dakota

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Related Links

Link to ARS Recovery Act Info.

Link to USDA Recovery Act Info.

Link to White House's site.

Photo: Jerry Miller and Dale Rehder pollinate sunflowers.

Researchers are developing specialty sunflowers that produce oils with highly marketable characteristics.

Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center, Fargo, North Dakota

  • Scope of work under Recovery Act

Amount: $1.17 million

Repair of critical deferred maintenance including replacing laboratory facilities' HVAC systems and components.

September 2009 - Construction contract awarded for $1,226,333 for the replacement of the HVAC systems

Construction Photos

Research at the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center

The mission of the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center is to reduce the negative impact of foreign chemicals in food animals and food processing; improve effectiveness of integrated pest management programs for control of insects and weeds; study physiology, genetics, and molecular biology of weeds to improve and/or discover better management strategies. This work helps consumers have access to healthier food while reducing farming's impact on the environment.

For example, the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center's sugarbeet and potato research units have contributed valuable genetic lines that are used by industry and provide resistance to some of the most economically limiting insects, diseases, and postharvest issues that affect these respective industries. The most recent accomplishments include the release of five new potato cultivars that are being used in the potato chip and potato processing industries. These cultivars will increase the affordability of potato production and ultimately reduce costs for consumers.

The sunflower research unit of the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center develops new sunflower germplasm to produce new, healthy cooking oils. Based on work by this laboratory, a new widely-used brand of cooking oil has been developed known as NuSun, a monounsaturated oil low in trans fats and linked to many health benefits. Frito-Lay's entire fried potato chip line will be produced with NuSun oil.

A new oat variety, developed at the ARS Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center, packs 50 percent more of the soluble oat fiber called beta-glucan. Combined with a healthy diet, beta- glucan can help lower blood levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, diminishing the risk of heart disease. The higher levels of beta-glucan in “HiFi” mean a consumer could eat less of a whole oat product made with the new variety to get the same health benefit.

ARS researchers in Fargo developed three spring wheat germplasm lines available for breeding commercial wheat varieties resistant to the Hessian fly. Resistance in wheat is critical to stopping the Hessian fly—duringits maggot stage—from feeding inside the plant, causing stems to buckle or stunting growth. The fly is a major insect pest of wheat in most states where the crop is grown.

Research Units

Biosciences Research Laboratory

Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Unit

  • To develop ways to reduce the negative impact of foreign chemicals in food producing animals and in the processing of food. These chemicals may be introduced to the food supply either environmentally (environmental pollutants or natural toxins) or as a result of agricultural practices (pesticides, antibiotics, feed additives veterinary drugs, or biologically active compounds). This knowledge has, and is, being used by regulatory agencies, agricultural industries, and scientific communities to ensure the public a safe food supply.

Insect Genetics & Biochemistry Unit

  • To investigate fundamental problems related to crop protection and production, and to improve the effectiveness of insects used in Integrated Pest Management Programs for control of pest insects and weeds.

Primary research projects include:

  1. Develop cold storage methods for beneficial insects and insects used in sterile release programs and cryopreservation methods for preservation of germplasm;
  2. Develop markers to measure the effects of photoperiods, temperature, and host quality on reproduction and diapause;
  3. Identify molecular markers useful for distinguishing closely related species and populations of pest and beneficial insects;
  4. Examine role of Wolbachia bacteria in creating genetically-distinct insect populations;
  5. Characterize surface and internal lipids and their function for pest and beneficial insects, and the effect of lipids on interactions of natural enemies with their hosts;
  6. Characterize feeding mechanisms and interactions with host plants for homopteran pest insects to determine resistant characteristics in plants.

Plant Science Research Unit

  • To discover novel solutions for perennial weed management through fundamental biological research.

Northern Crop Science Research Laboratory

Cereal Crops Unit

  • To provide basic knowledge and improved germplasm for developing, maintaining, and improving hard red spring wheat, durum wheat, barley, and oat. Disease resistance, improved marketability, and improved end-use quality are major issues being addressed by this research unit. These issues are particularly significant to the upper Midwestern U.S., one of the nation's leading production regions for wheat, barley, and oats.

Sugarbeet & Potato Unit

  • To improve the quality and profitability of sugarbeet and potato production through fundamental research on germplasm enhancement, crop protection, and postharvest physiology.

Sunflower Research Unit

  • To enhance profitable and sustainable sunflower production through science and technology, resulting in affordable, quality, products.

Project Photographs Before Construction

Repairs to be done in Fargo Repairs to be done in Fargo
Repairs to be done in Fargo Repairs to be done in Fargo

Last Modified: 8/28/2016
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