Project Number: 3064-21600-001-015-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: May 15, 2023
End Date: May 14, 2028
Develop innovative soil enhancement strategies, including the use of cover crops, that support the enhanced economic, environmental, and social sustainability of cereal grain cropping systems for the northern climates.
New and ongoing research experiments at the Fairbanks Experiment Farm (FEF) and the Matanuska Experiment Farm and Extension Center (MEFEC) will be used to identify practices that improve soil health and productivity and provide social and economic benefits for farmers and ranchers and their families, their communities, improve food security for all Alaskans, and benefit farmland quality by promoting sustainable agriculture practices for soil health and crop variety selection. Soil enhancement research, including the use of diverse crop rotations, cover crops, and reducing tillage, will improve soils and crop productivity. Plant genetics research will be conducted to identify factors that limit productivity in northern climates and will be used to inform crop breeding and management practices to improve productivity and provide soil benefits. New research faculty in the areas of soil science and plant genetics will begin to establish research programs in Alaska aimed at helping farmers and ranchers identify and adopt optimal practices to promote food production using sustainable agriculture practices in Alaska. An Agricultural Economist will join the AFES faculty and will provide new knowledge concerning the economics of production practices in Alaska. Involved UAF AFES scientists will develop collaborative research with ARS scientists in areas related to soil health and cover crop utilization, plant genetics and plant breeding, and social concepts applied to sustainable agriculture families and communities in Alaska. Agricultural producers and local community stakeholders will continue to be engaged through focus groups to further define and prioritize research needs and spur innovation in the development of practices to increase food production while providing economic, environmental, and social benefits for Alaskans.