Our A to Z of farm technologies story, featured in our May issue, is being used to inspire some key agricultural initiatives in North Dakota. The state currently has a budget surplus, fueled by its budding oil boom. The state legislature is investing a portion of those funds to agriculture, the state’s recent one industry.
“I believe we may be in the Golden Age of agriculture,” says Rodney Howe, chairman of the North Dakota State Board of Agriculture Research and Education, SBARE, charged with prioritizing the needs of agriculture in the state. When funded, those needs are addressed by the North Dakota State University NDSU Ag Research and Extension.
“North Dakota may be in a unique position to address a part of agriculture’s future due to state funds available from an enhanced oil industry,” Howe says. “Part of our board’s opportunity/dilemma is that we have to try to anticipate the needs and opportunities of agriculture 20 to 30 years from now. Your A-Z article encapsulates the potential of agriculture’s future.”
Already, Research and Extension funding has been used to build a world-class greenhouse, a state-of-the-art beef research facility and a comprehensive soil health program, Howe adds.
Future projects include the use of bioinformatics and statistical genomics, cutting-edge tools used to develop new crop varieties and disease-control methods.