Awarded Grants
Below is a listing of our awarded grants that tackle big food and agriculture challenges.


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13 Grants found

Strategic Fallowing for Sustainable Water and Thriving Agriculture

Year Awarded   2021

FFAR award amount   $970,931

Total award amount   $1,941,862

Location   Las Cruces, NM

Program   Seeding Solutions

Matching Funders   Elephant Butte Irrigation District, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, Thornburg Foundation


Drought risks continue to challenge farmers in the US Southwest. Leaving cultivated land unused—fallowing—represents a potentially crucial water-saving strategy. However, the costs and benefits of fallowing remain uncertain. NMSU researchers are developing a Hydrologic-Agricultural-Economic model that evaluates alternative fallowing strategies. The researchers will integrate the hydrologic modeling with remote sensing data, field measurements and socioeconomic information to inform where fallowing can optimally provide targeted benefits.

FFAR Grant Enhances Dairy Industry Sustainability

Year Awarded   2021

FFAR award amount   $10,000,000

Total award amount   $23,200,000

Location   Rosemont, Ill.

Matching Funders   Dairy Management Inc. and Newtrient


Dairy farmers face increasing pressure from the private and public sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental practices can offset the dairy industry’s carbon footprint, but additional research is needed to determine their effectiveness. Thus, the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded a $10 million grant to the Dairy Research Institute (DRI) to support the dairy community’s Net Zero Initiative, an industry-wide effort to adopt practices and technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve environmental health.

FFAR Awards $2 Million Grant to Improve Sustainability in Corn Production

Year Awarded   2021

FFAR award amount   $2,044,214

Total award amount   $4,089,857

Location   Ames, Iowa

Matching Funders   Iowa State University, Bayer Crop Science, The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Purdue University and Donald Danforth Plant Science Center


Maize breeding programs have increased corn yields over the years by altering plant characteristics (traits). Yet, our knowledge on which traits have been changed is limited while their impact on sustainability is relatively unknown. Led by Dr. Sotirios Archontoulis, Iowa State University researchers are examining corn hybrid characteristics at an unprecedented scale to analyze yield trends in the US Corn Belt, which includes most of the Midwest.

Irrigation Innovation Consortium Funds Seven Research Projects

Year Awarded   2021

FFAR award amount   $533,126

Total award amount   $1,512,550

Location   Fort Collins, Colorado

Matching Funders   The consortium, which is headquartered at Colorado State University, includes four other U.S. land-grant universities: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Kansas State University, Texas A&M University and California State University-Fresno. The consortium’s founding and sustaining industry partners are: FFAR, Aqua Engineering, Irrigation Association, JAIN Irrigation, LI-COR, Lindsay Corporation, Northern Water, Valmont, Hunter Industries, Toro, Rubicon, Colorado Corn Growers Association and Senniger Irrigation Inc.


As freshwater resources become ever more precious, research in irrigation technology is critically needed to maximize efficiency. Water use efficiency is necessary to ensure resiliency in agricultural and landscape systems. The Irrigation Innovation Consortium is awarding seven grants tat enable industry and the public sector co-develop, test, prototype and improve equipment, technology and decision-support systems. 

FFAR Grant Addressing Surface and Groundwater Pollution on Farms

Year Awarded   2020

FFAR award amount   $316,000

Total award amount   $632,231

Location   Avondale

Program   Seeding Solutions

Matching Funders   Stroud Center and the Science Technology and Research Institute of Delaware (STRIDE)


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of chemical compounds used in hundreds of applications. Due to their high thermal stability, resistance to chemical degradation and related waste disposal, PFAS is an environmental concern. Stroud Center researchers, in collaboration with STRIDE Center for PFAS Solutions, are examining the occurrence and migration of biosolid-derived PFAS in soil and water on agricultural fields.

FFAR Awards Grant to Reduce Water Waste in Crop Irrigation

Year Awarded   2020

FFAR award amount   $650,000

Total award amount   $1,300,000

Location   Davis, CA

Program   Seeding Solutions

Matching Funders   University of California, Davis


Sensors currently available to growers to measure plant water status are prohibitive. UC Davis researchers are developing a small sensor sensitive enough to measure as little as a one percent change in leaf thickness and volumetric water content at the same time. These two measurements provide growers with clear, consistent data to calculate the plant’s water status.

Characterizing grass development and physiological genetics for improved crop performance

Year Awarded   2020

FFAR award amount   $97,500

Total award amount   $195,000

Location   University of California, Berkeley

Matching Funders   Good Ventures Foundation


Stomata are small “mouths” on a plant that absorb carbon and result in water loss. In rice crops, water loss compromises performance and survivability, threatening food security. Optimizing stomatal density and physiology can increase water use efficiency without affecting crop performance. Karavolias is researching stomatal development and physiology to increase crop productivity in future climatic conditions.

Precision Irrigation Scheduling for Specialty Crops

Year Awarded   2019

FFAR award amount   $500,000

Total award amount   $1,323,242

Location   Boulder, CO

Program   Seeding Solutions

Matching Funders   The University of Arizona Yuma, Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture, University of California, Western Growers Association


Farmers growing specialty crops deal with a multitude of complexities such as lacking access to cost-effective irrigation guidance tools. Specialty crops are often over-irrigated which can jeopardize food security. GeoVisual Analytics researchers are improving irrigation guidance and grower adoption of precision irrigation technologies by analyzing data and field measurements.

Irrigation Innovation Consortium

Year Awarded   2018

FFAR award amount   $5,000,000

Total award amount   $10,000,000

Location   Fort Collins, CO

Matching Funders   Aqua Engineering Inc., Colorado Corn, Colorado State University, Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska (DWFI), Fresno State Center for Irrigation Technology, Irrigation Association (IA), Jain Irrigation, Kansas State Research and Extension - Kansas State University, Lindsay Corporation, Northern Water, Rubicon Water, Senninger Irrigation Inc., Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Valmont


The Irrigation Innovation Consortium is a joint initiative between private, public and university organizations to address water scarcity in the western US and worldwide.

Optimizing Water Use in Agriculture by Stacking Conservation Practices

Year Awarded   2018

FFAR award amount   $300,000

Total award amount   $600,001

Location   Logan, UT

Matching Funders   USU CAES, Central Utah Water Conservancy District, E&I Conservation District, Unitah Conservation District, North Cache Conservation District, Senninger Irrigation, Central Iron County Water Conservancy District, USU RGS


Concerns about water scarcity are mounting due to rapid urban growth, depleting groundwater supplies and water shortages from climate trends. Utah State University researchers are assessing the combined effectiveness of several methods of water optimization in agriculture, including more efficient water application and management and advanced crop genetics.

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