Location: Pest Management and Biocontrol Research
Project Number: 2020-22620-023-032-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 9, 2023
End Date: Jul 8, 2026
The purpose of this Agreement is to set forth understandings between the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center (ALARC), and The University of Arizona(UA)-Maricopa Agricultural Center (MAC) for joint projects, cooperative research, and co-location of MAC and ARS personnel at research facilities in Maricopa, Arizona.
The University of Arizona (UA)-Maricopa Agricultural Center (MAC)and USDA-ARS-Arid Land Agricultural Research Center (ALARC) facilities and programs operate in a very complementary fashion that serves to support projects with common research objectives utilizing the facilities and complementary skill sets to address those objectives among the cooperating scientists. As a result, we have extensive collaborative relationships that extend back over three decades of operations between ARS and UA personnel. The parties may collaborate on research projects to: (a) Develop and implement sustainable integrated pest management solutions to protect cotton and other crops from economic damage due to insects and mites. This includes elucidation of the basic biology and ecology of pest arthropods and their natural enemies (predators, parasitoids), study of impacts of pest populations on crop quality and yield, investigation of chemical, cultural, behavioral, genetic, and biological methods of pest control. (b) Develop new technologies, including modeling and remote sensing for improving water use efficiency and agricultural field crop productivity in arid and semi-arid environments. Additionally, to increase water supplies by the safe reuse of reclaimed municipal wastewater, with particular focus on emerging contaminants. Overall, the aim is to develop sustainable water and nutrient management strategies, conserve water, promote conservation tillage systems and carbon sequestration, improve soil health, reduce greenhouse gas forcing, and protect water quality in systems involving soil, aquifers, plants, and the atmosphere for US arid irrigated cropping systems. (c) Improve the sustainability, productivity and profitability of agriculture in arid agro-ecosystems. New germplasm is developed with higher yield and better tolerance to abiotic/biotic stresses endemic to arid climates and associated with global climate change, and for use as new sources of biofuels and bioproducts. Methods of remote and proximal sensing are integrated and deployed in novel “high-throughput phenotyping” technologies for rapid, non-destructive measurements of plant health and physiology, with data outputs used for crop assessment, improvement and management. Programs at this center have strong lines of orientation on soil-plant-environmental relationships that benefit from the collective expertise of UA and ARS scientists working collaboratively.