OSU receives $2.6 million grant to study regenerative agriculture | Oklahoma State University


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Media Contact:
Brian Brus | Agricultural Communications Providers | 405-744-6792 | [email protected]

Oklahoma State College has acquired Greater than $2.6 million to evaluation strategies to
enhance agricultural manufacturing the placeas reducing environmental impacts, said Kevin Wagner, director of the Oklahoma Water Assets Center at OSU.

It is going to require a holistic strategy, Wagner said. Local climate, livestock grazing, crop
rotation, hydrology, areaal economics and extra – the methods in regenerative agriculture
are simply too huge, complicated and intertwined for a straightforward reply.

To that finish, OSU evaluationers will work intently with Texas A&M AgriLife Research at Texas A&M College and completely different universities Inside the area on a 5-yr enterprise
funded by the U.S. Division of Agriculture Nationwide Institute of Meals and Agriculture. OSU will acquire Greater than $2.6 million of the $10 million aggressive grant.

“Regenerative agriculture Can be a scorching matter proper now throughout a lot of the nation,”
said Wagner, the enterprise’s principal investigator at OSU. “Our objective is To Search out strategies
to not solely maintain manufacturing However in addition enhance the land and completely different resources On the
similar time.”

Most evaluation on regenerative agriculture has typically occurred in areas of the
U.S. with 40 to 50 inches of rain yrly, An factor that confacetrably impacts evaluation
outcomes. Much less research has been focused on areas like southwest Oklahoma and the Oklahoma-Texas
panhandles, which have extra variable, arid circumstances and wholly completely different challenges
in managing livestock and crops, cotton Notably.

Although the scope Of labor beneath the grant is expansive with a quantity of multi-yr factors,
Wagner said some facets Shall revenue producers Immediately. For event, Jason Warren, OSU Extension soil and water conservation specialist, has plans for a soil stewardship education
program Just Just like the construction of The favored Grasp Irrigator Program for farmers, and a curriculum Shall be Tailored for areaal 4-H Youth Enchancment summer time packages as properly.

Amongst his efforts, Wagner will monitor The quantity and extreme quality of runoff water from
areas the place regenerative practices have been carried out, lead the mannequining group
and assist with stakemaintainer engagement and outreach. Collectively with Wagner and Warren,
there are a quantity of completely different
key OSU evaluationers whose work will overlap In lots of areas. A pattern of these efforts

  • Seth Byrd, OSU Extension specialist, cotton agronomy – assess practices in regular cotton manufacturing methods To understand agricultural intensification, greater
    revenuecapability and enhanced climate resiliency.
  • Andrea Jilling, OSU Division of Plant and Soil Sciences affiliate professor, environmental soil chemistry – collaborate on an asynchronous, on-line transdisciplinary drawback-based mostly course entitled, Regenerative
    Agriculture in Semi-arid Ecomethods, which Shall be constructed-in into beneathgraduate and
    graduate packages at OSU.
  • Alex Rocateli, OSU Extension specialist, forage methods – develop forage methods and implement
    demonstrations in producer and experimental station areas, As properly as To assist with
    outreach and Extension packages.
  • Sumit Sharma, OSU Extension specialist, irrigation administration – set up cowl crop experiments
    On the
    Oklahoma Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Goodproperly, Oklahoma.

Many members of the group furtherly Shall be involved in arranging areaal on-farm area
days And huge, multi-state conferences hosted in Texas and Oklahoma for disseminating
evaluation end outcomes. 

Furtherextra, Ali Mirchi, assistant professor Inside the OSU Division of Biomethods and Agricultural Engineering, will use knowledge collected by the evaluation group to develop fashions To guage the watershed
scale end outcomes of regenerative practices. The Agricultural Coverage/Environmental eXtfinisher
(APEX) mannequin Shall be used To foretell end outcomes of administration selections on soil loss,
water extreme quality and crop yields On The sector scale.

“With The sector knowledge collected, we’ll Be In a place to develop fashions So as that in A Laptop Pc
environment We will consider Pretty A pair of circumstances in a time-environment nice, value-efficient
Method to take a Take A look at impacts on soil well being and hydrology-associated processes,” Mirchi said.
“Although You’d possibly Want to try every thing in The exact world, It Might be very costly
and take A very, very Very prolonged time with A lot of manpower.

“It’s vital that we’ll have colleagues Inside The sector amassing knowledge on numerous
fronts And dealing immediately with producers and completely different stakemaintainers.”

Wagner said carbon sequestration May even be An factor To imagine about, or how regenerative
practices assist enhance the soil’s capability To maintain moisture and assist Oklahoma scale again
its carbon footprint, Ensuing in a extra resilient ecosystem. Over time, these modifications
furtherly may End in extremeer ranges of agricultural intensification and greater revenuecapability.

“It’s one of the facets that attracted me to this enterprise, as a Outcome of I’ve prolonged been
in soil well being and The biggest method it impacts water resources at a watershed or areaal scale.
Most prior evaluation has focused on The advantages On The sector scale, but We now Want to
take a wider view,” Wagner said.

“With extremeer floor cowl and soil administration, we hope To confirm with this evaluation
thOn there Shall be less water working off and thOn the runoff Shall be cleaner. In
particular, we’ll be evaluating integrating cowl crops and grazing of these cowl
crops into cotton manufacturing methods and figuring out how that advantages soils, water
and manufacturing.”

The OSU enterprise encompasses brief-time period, medium-time period and prolonged-time period goals over The subsequent
5 yrs. However, Wagner and Mirchi said The information produced beneath the NIFA grant
will probably yield extra evaluation alternatives, As properly as to further advantages to Oklahoma
and comparable areas Across the globe.

The grant is An factor of the USDA’s current funding of Greater than $146 million in maintainable agricultural evaluation tasks Aimed in the direction of enhancing A strong, resilient,
climate-smart food and agricultural system. NIFA’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems
program focuses on a broad base of needed evaluation options, Starting from addressing
labor challenges and promoting land stewardship to correcting climate change impacts
in agriculture And important wants in food and vitamin.

“USDA is tackling pressing challenges dealing with American agriculture and communities throughout
our nation,” Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said. “Essential factors like food
insecurity, drought resilience and response, animal illness prevention and market
disruption require fundings To assist meet these challenges. That is the time for
agriculture, forestry and rural communities to act. Collectively, We will Cleared The path
with fundings in science and evaluation and climate-smart options that feed and
nourish housemaintains, enhance the revenuecapability and resilience of producers, enhance forest
well being, the placeas creating new income alternatives and constructing wealth that stays in
rural communities.”