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NIFA announces support for increasing alfalfa productivity

Alfalfa Forage & Research Program supports integrated, collaborative research to improve efficiency and sustainability of conventional and organic forage production systems.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food & Agriculture (NIFA) announced support for the Alfalfa Forage & Research Program (AFRP), which funds research and extension programs that improve alfalfa forage and seed yields and helps producers apply best practices.

“Alfalfa research helps ensure there are dependable and affordable supplies of forage available for dairy and other livestock producers around the country,” NIFA director Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy said. “This crop is also a part of conservation production systems that help protect fields from water erosion and provide a natural supply of nitrogen to the soil for use by other crops.”

AFRP supports integrated, collaborative research and technology transfer to improve the efficiency and sustainability of conventional and organic forage production systems, NIFA said. The program encourages projects that establish multidisciplinary networks to address priority national or regional science needs of the alfalfa industry. By bringing together expertise from multiple organizations and states, these projects will have greater impact and enhance the effectiveness of limited state, federal and industry resources, the agency added.

The goals of AFRP are to increase alfalfa yields and quality; improve harvest and storage systems; develop methods to estimate forage yield and quality to support marketing and reduce producer risks, and explore new and novel uses for alfalfa.

NIFA said approximately $2.1 million in funding is available to support AFRP. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. (Eastern) April 18, 2018. See the funding opportunity for details.

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