Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment

Budget-friendly Bioplastic

Bioplastics, which are made from vegetable fats, corn starch and other renewable sources, have great potential as sustainable packaging. Yet bioplastics are expensive to produce. New research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and Jiangnan University has revealed production methods that can improve its properties while overcoming obstacles to commercial manufacturing.

Little Shrub Could Make Big Impact to the Tire Industry

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company and its consortium partners, Cornell University, Clemson University, and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service produced several sets of concept passenger car tires in which all the natural and synthetic rubber is replaced by guayule natural rubber.

SPLAT Goes the Beetle

With USDA SBIR funding, ISCA Technologies introduced a highly effective pest control product that targets mountain pine beetles.

Super Sponge Removes Mercury from Water

With NIFA funding, researchers at the University of Minnesota (UMN) created a sponge that uses nanotechnology to absorb mercury from polluted water in seconds.

University of New Mexico-Taos Develops the Next Generation of Climate Change Scientists

Climate change presents real threats to U.S. agricultural production, forest resources, and rural economies. These threats have significant implications not just for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners, but for all Americans. Addressing climate change is a priority for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Happy Birthday NIFA: Celebrating seven years of research, education and extension milestones

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture celebrates the seventh anniversary of its establishment on Oct. 1. Replacing the former Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, NIFA was established by the Food Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill) to find innovative solutions to issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and communities. In the past seven years, NIFA-funded research has led to breakthrough discoveries in the areas of sustainable Ag production systems, education, environmental systems, family and consumer sciences, bioenergy, human nutrition, food safety, climate variability, youth development, and more.

National Honey Month shines a light on pollinator health

September is National Honey Month and you can’t have honey without honey bees. There are direct links between the health of American agriculture and the health of bees and other pollinators.

Mitigating the occurrence of harmful algal blooms

As temperatures rise this summer, people turn to local beaches and lakes as a fun way to cool off. However, recent toxic algal blooms have hindered this experience for some in places like Florida, California, New York, and Vermont.

Reversing Pollinator Decline is Key to Feeding the Future

Without pollinators, we don’t eat—it’s simple as that—and, at the moment, large numbers of pollinators are dying. With the world’s population projected to exceed 9 billion in just the next 30 years or so, that is not a good position for us to be in.

University of DC’s Rooftop Garden hosts celebration of Pollinator Week

A garden in the sky. That’s the best way to describe the Green Roof, a rooftop garden at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), the nation’s only urban land grant university. This living laboratory is one of the latest features at UDC’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES), which is also home to the Center for 4-H & Youth Development. 4-H is the nation’s premiere youth development program, managed by National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).