Skip to main content

Research And Science

NIFA Impacts: Saving the Ogallala Aquifer, Supporting Farmers

The Ogallala Aquifer is one of the world’s largest fresh groundwater resources. It underlies 175,000 square miles in eight states. Starting as hundreds of feet of silt, clay, and gravel eroded from the Rocky Mountains and laid down by streams millions of years ago, rainfall during this time produced an underground lake the size of Lake Huron.

Beefing up Cattle Research to Meet Climate Demands of Today and Tomorrow

In recent decades, cattle production and ranch profitability have been declining in the desert southwest. Especially during drought conditions, thirsty beef cattle have had to remain close to sources of water (it takes 1,590 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef), greatly reducing the area over which they can graze and causing overgrazing in parts of fragile rangelands. This loss of productive range capable of supporting cattle is one reason why the cattle industry in New Mexico is suffering.

Every Day is Earth Day for Ag Producers

After a trip to Colorado’s Pikes Peak in 1893, Katharine Lee Bates wrote the lyrics to “America the Beautiful.” The memorable words paint a sensory-rich picture of “amber waves” and “fruited plains” that celebrate our land and the true wealth of any nation – agriculture. Today, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, the United States has more than 900 million acres of land in farms; that’s 40% of all U.S. land. And we rely on the 3.4 million producers, around 1% of our population, to manage that land and provide food, feed, fiber and fuel for our nation and the world.

Egg-STAT-ic About Eggs

Did you know that in 2019, the U.S. produced more than 113 billion eggs? Here are some stats to help you learn more about this agricultural commodity tied to many springtime observances.

Hawaii’s Crown Jewels of U.S. Agriculture

Without a doubt, Hawaii is an influencer’s paradise when it comes to spurring creativity for storytellers, brands, and entertainment on social media platforms of all kinds. But are these “influencers in the wild” missing out on the crowning jewel of U.S. agriculture? Maybe not, but there is a wellspring of inspirational agriculture growing in Hawaii.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Helen Chipman, PhD, RDN

In celebration of Women’s History Month, USDA is featuring Dr. Helen Chipman of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Dr. Chipman serves as Acting Division Director for Nutrition and Food Safety, and National Program Leader, Food and Nutrition Education.

G20 Meeting of Agriculture Chief Scientists Reflects Trends in 2020 and the Value of Core Research Principles

As the new decade unfolds, a remarkable trend is evident in the world. In 2020, the global community and the media have been focused on the surge of a novel virus, the spread of African swine fever, wildfires, outbreak of desert locust, and debates on the safe use of agricultural technology. These challenges have similar characteristics – they span borders, have significant economic outcomes, and require global scientific collaboration to effectively address them. Public policy makers look to researchers to advance critical knowledge and offer solutions, and this research requires international collaboration. For success, however, efforts must be grounded in foundational principles and values that support international science.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Dr. Dominique Carter

In this blog, we feature Dr. Dominique Carter, Agricultural Science Fellow with USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist. Dr. Carter’s work touches various research portfolios to measure the performance and impact of USDA science initiatives. In addition to her work, she is also interested in emerging technologies, innovation, and entrepreneurship.