The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently made a few announcements that may be of interest to research and development efforts that look to algae as a solution to agricultural challenges. ABO members are encouraged to examine and apply for opportunities that may help move their efforts forward.
In May, the agency announced $6 million for research on the symbiotic relationship between plants and other organisms. Some ABO members are currently looking at how algae can be harnessed as a soil amendment, interacting with nutrients and other organisms already in the soil in a way that can improve crop yields, sequester carbon or result in other beneficial agricultural outcomes.
In April, the agency announced $6.3 million to study resilient agroecosystems and $9.6 million to grow the bioeconomy. Advanced algae cultivation and harvesting technologies are rapidly proving themselves to have vast potential for future agriculture. They can reduce the pressures on existing agricultural land, freshwater supplies, and can be source of high-protein, extremely nutritious food for humans and animals.
More information about these opportunities are available in the links above. For more USDA research funding opportunities that might pertain to algae please visit: https://nifa.usda.gov/page/search-grant