WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture today announced the availability of up to $766,000 for fundamental and applied research to help develop and share new commercial canola varieties and products, and expand the crop’s growing regions. This funding is made available through NIFA’s Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive grants program.
Canola is a multi-purpose crop used for human food, animal feed and as a natural pest control agent when used in crop rotations. Canola oil can be used as an alternative to petroleum in the manufacture of biofuels and industrial chemicals, such as lubricants, cosmetics and other bio-based products. Canola produced in the United States does not meet current domestic demand.
Applications must integrate both research and extension services. Funded research will focus on four primary areas:
- Testing germplasm and breeding superior performing varieties to increase productivity, profitability and adaptation to an expanded range of U.S. growing environments for canola;
- Conducting fundamental and applied research to develop new commercial products from canola;
- Innovating new planting, cultivating, harvesting and processing methods for use in production systems that include canola; and
- Transferring new knowledge and technologies as soon as possible to producers and other users through effective extension and other engagement efforts.
The deadline to apply is April 11, 2017.
Eligible applicants include colleges, universities, other federal agencies and private sector entities. See the SACC program page on NIFA’s website for more details and abstracts of prior projects.
NIFA has invested $6 million in research through SACC since 2009. A grant to North Dakota State University(link is external) supported research to increase farmer productivity and profitability in the North Central states where more than 90 percent of U.S. canola is produced. A grant to the University of Idaho(link is external) supports research to improve canola production and production systems with genetic and agronomic advances to increase canola acreage in the Pacific Northwest.
NIFA invests in and advances innovative and transformative research, education and extension to solve societal challenges and ensure the long-term viability of agriculture. NIFA support for the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel have resulted in user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries that combat childhood obesity, improve and sustain rural economic growth, address water availability issues, increase food production, find new sources of energy, mitigate climate variability and ensure food safety.