CARC Researchers Discovering The Effects of Climate Change Thanks to Grant
By: Taelor Smith
June 17 – In the modern eras of human existence on earth, climate change has been the result of human activities that interfere with the planet’s atmosphere. This ultimately impacts all ecosystems across the globe. With the help of a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Prairie View A&M University agriculture researchers are on a mission to determine the impact climate change has on agriculture and water quality to better prepare for the planet’s future.
Cooperative Agriculture Research Center Research Scientist Dr. Ram Ray serves as Project Director for this effort in discovering the ways agriculture is impacted due to climate change. Also included on the team as co-project directors are Ali Fares, Ripendra Awal, Peter Ampim, Nelson Daniels, and Selamawit Woldesenbet. The team submitted their proposal for a grant sponsored by NIFA in the Fall of 2018 and was awarded $595,751 to be used toward research and extension components in regards to the completion of the project titled “An Integrated Approach to Study and Disseminate the Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture and Water Quality.” Work on the project began in January 2019 and is ongoing through the end of 2021.
Past studies have determined that climate change greatly impacts the world’s various environments over extended periods. These changes will lead us to change the way we use our resources and find ways to better preserve the habitats that we are accustomed to. Ray and his team will focus on using an integrated approach that would optimize crop yield and minimize contamination to the environment under changing climate and variable by studying the three major crops that are grown in Texas; corn, sorghum, and cotton. On the university farm, the group will grow crops on 27 plots on the Governor Bill and Vara Daniel Farm on the PVAMU campus. The project plans to grow at least one of the crops each year, and the team looks to match the growth time frame to that of area farmers who practice growing these crops.
Currently, in the early stages of planning the first crop, so far, the team has tested the soil health and quality, and water quality in which the crops will be grown. The first crops are on track to be planted later this year. The team has projected climate data for 2020 through 2099.
This work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 1890 Extension Formula Program projects under Section 1444.
Ram L. Ray, Ph.D., P.E.