Friday, May 19, 2006

Crop, Soil, and Agronomy Research to Serve The Next Generation of America's Farming Communities

Soil, crop and agronomy research weaves together the fabric of rural and urban communities. One of the strengths of our research community is the integrated nature of our work, due to the wide spectrum of disciplines in which our membership represent. Over the last several months the Science Policy Office has been focusing on "identifying priorities", for soil science, the Farm Bill, and agricultural research and education. Yet, tying together priorities from an office perspective is not the same as being in the field and cultivating the perspectives firsthand. Thus, we ask you as members of ASA-CSSA-SSSA, to suggest areas where you deem critical for the next generation (or just the next decade) of researchers to work on, be it in agricultural/environmental education, extension activities, business, and/or research oriented fields. We at the Science Policy Office will work to incorporate your suggestions into our work on the Research, Rural Development and Energy Titles for the 2007 Farm Bill.

Here are some of the suggested "priority areas" that have been identified with membership help(do you agree?):

Integrated Agricultural Research
1. Capturing Farm Innovation with Participatory Research
- Public Plant Breeding
- Ecosystem Services
2. Interdisciplinary and Socio-economic Research and Education
- Rural Farming Infrastructure
- Farm transfer and succession
- Food System Health and Safety

Soil Research
1. Bridging the Soil/Water/Atmosphere Scale Gap
- Critical Pathway Management of Soil Nutrient/Pollutant Transport
- Transformation of Agricultural Chemicals
- Soil macro-structure impacts on redox changes
2. Regional Food Security and Food Quality
- Managing Agriculture for a Changing Climate
- Water Resources- Land Use and Soil Production Capacity
- Building Healthy Communities with Soil Management and Education

While "Crops" and "Agonomy" topics are not isolated from the priority areas suggested above, there is no clear direction of what the distinct priorities are for this factions of the membership. We are seeking membership input to identify priorities for these areas.



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