Next Generation Crops Research Vision

Our Next Generation Crops Challenge Area optimizes a systems-based approach for crops that provides innovative, sustainable, economic and environmental solutions.

Doing More with Less

U.S. Agriculture is the most productive in the world. Our current agricultural systems were developed to consistently provide access to plentiful and affordable food. However, increasing global population, scarcity of resources, changing climate and changing consumer preferences are and will, continue to put a strain on our current cropping systems.

Going forward, we need to do more with less. We need to be better stewards of our environment and our food supply. Instead of calories, consumers are more health-conscious and demanding better nutrition. People want to know how and where their food was produced and that it is safe. Producers are operating on tighter and tighter margins due to low commodity prices and are looking for ways to increase farm profitability. Increasing crop diversity requires developing new supply chains from farm to consumer that are more equitable in sharing value.

To meet these challenges, the Next Generation Crops Challenge Area supports the advancement of novel, nutritious, profitable and resilient on-farm crops. There is a strong emphasis on increasing crop diversity and using new technologies to benefit consumers, producers and the environment. We seek research approaches that focus on innovative technologies and environmentally sound production practices combined with the discovery and development of new end uses for both conventional and non-traditional crops. Accelerated breeding methods that increase the rate of genetic gain and provide producers with newer and better-adapted varieties are also sought.

U.S. and our Advisory Council, Seek to Fund Research in The Following Areas:

Increasing Crop Diversity

  • Diversified cropping systems
  • Increased use of genetic diversity and biodiversity
  • Development of new supply chains from farm to consumer that are more equitable in sharing value

Improving Resilience

  • Increased tolerance of biotic and abiotic stress
  • Increased genetic gain and decreased breeding cycle
  • Development of cropping systems to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions

Increasing Sustainability

  • Improved genetics for optimized soil health, production inputs and land management

Bolstering Farm Profitability

  • Improved genetics for non-traditional crops to increase productivity
  • New uses/higher value traits for traditional crops

Connections to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Next Generation Crops Challenge Area supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 17 global goals to enhance peace and prosperity, eradicate poverty and protect the planet. Through our Next Generation Crops work, we convene partners to pioneer research innovation of diverse and resilient crops, ensuring the global population has access to nutritious, affordable food grown on thriving farms. The Next Generation Crops research advances Goal 2, Zero Hunger; Goal 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; and Goal 17, Partnerships for the Goals.

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