Texas A&M AgriLife Research is poised to be the epicenter of objective, evidence-informed scientific information on the food supply, with the only interest at hand being the health of our citizens and the positioning of our agricultural producers to provide healthy foods. Given the extensive presence of agriculture across the state, and the world-class reputation of Texas A&M, Texas should lead in this endeavor.
Leaders in Precision Nutrition
AgriLife Research continues to advance the state of science by understanding intricate connections among diet, nutrition and human health — especially the unique nutrition characteristics of individual people, known as precision nutrition. Explore a selection of ongoing studies and impactful strides by AgriLife Research scientists, who continue to push boundaries in understanding how the food each person consumes can contribute to healthier populations and thriving food systems.
- New peanut varieties and better use of herbicides have produced an increased yield of almost 50% per acre, as compared to 20 years ago, and the added gain can be $100-150 per acre.
- New peach and nectarine lines developed by AgriLife researchers advance commercial harvest by 2-3 weeks and potentially add 10% in production capacity. This could have a potential value of up to $50 million in the U.S.
- The AgriLife Research wheat-breeding team has been recognized for developing wheat varieties, which are estimated to add more than $200 million annually to the US economy.
- New rice cultivars, if adopted at 15% rate over the next five years, the 5% yield advantage will increase statewide rice production revenue by $1.22 million per year.
Current Projects & Selected Accomplishments
Increased yield of peanut varieties
Corpus Christi scientists have developed new peanut varieties that have a greater potential yield and make better use of irrigation water. They also looked at new herbicides to better control weeds and more effective fungicides to help with disease resistance. All of these developments have led to better control of disease and increased yield. The increased yield is almost 50% per acre, as compared to 20 years ago, and the added gain can be $100-150 per acre.
Advanced lines of corn with improved disease resistance
A researcher in Soil & Crop Sciences has developed advanced lines of corn for improved disease resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. This project has the potential to improve agronomics for Texas production, particularly with improved quality and processing properties for food, feed, and industrial products.
New peach and nectarine lines mean improved potential for growers
A group in the Department of Horticultural Sciences has released 20 new peach or nectarine cultivars. These are within the low to medium-chill zones and have improved flesh colors, flavors, shapes, and nutritional value. This is a major development in the stone fruit available to growers. The additions advance commercial harvest by 2-3 weeks and potentially add 10% in production capacity. This could have a potential value of up to $50 million in the U.S.
Wheat-breeding boosts economy nationally
The AgriLife Research wheat-breeding team has been recognized for its varieties, which continue to dominate wheat production in the Great Plains. These wheat varieties are estimated to add more than $200 million annually to the US economy. One drought-tolerant wheat also makes a stronger dough.
New rice cultivars have great potential to increase rice production and revenue
Beaumont researchers developed AgriLife’s first rice cultivars – Colorado and Antonio. They were released for large-scale commercial production in 2015. If there is 15% adoption rate over the next five years, the 5% yield advantage will increase statewide rice production revenue by $1.22 million per year.
Improvement of human nutrition in rice grain
Dr. Lee Tarpley is a co-leader in discovering molecular markers and genes that control the concentration of minerals affecting human nutrition in rice grains. This research represents the largest effort of its type for a crop species. The plant populations and physiology methods used at the Beaumont Center are unique tools aiding this gene discovery. The National Science Foundation recently funded a rare fifth-year creativity extension.