2017 Academic Infrastructure Reports
September 22, 2017
Project GREEEN funds assisted the department on data collection for two topics related to international trade policy: U.S. trade and tariffs with the 10 countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and U.S. trade and economic data with Cuba. Data was collected on trade flows, both to and from the U.S. The data will be used to analyze the potential impact of the TPP agreement on U.S. agricultural exports and imports with the TPP nations. Particular focus will be placed on those agricultural products produced in Michigan. In Cuba, data was collected on the economic conditions of the country and will be used to analyze the potential impact of the reopening of trade between the U.S. and Cuba, particularly with regard to agricultural goods.
In addition, the MSU Product Center, with help from Project GREEEN funding:
Agriculture and Agribusiness (AABI) conducts a small grants program called AABI GREEEN with Project GREEEN funds. Extension educators submit proposals quarterly for review by two AABI Work Team Leaders and the AABI director. If funded, the educator initiates a one-year project and must complete a final report.
Project GREEEN funding helped with implementation of a temperature inversion monitoring system in apple and cherry orchards at two sites in Michigan. Funding also assisted with maintenance and data collection for systems that detect white mold in soybean crops.
In addition, Project GREEEN dollars were invested in:
For several years, the department has created and carried out effective pollinator and pollination programs. In 2015, these programs were integrated into one: the Michigan Pollinator Initiative. This enterprise works to support pollinators and the Michigan producers who rely on them through the coordination of MSU research, education and policy-driven efforts to protect pollinators and address current and anticipated issues related to protecting these important insect groups.
Other accomplishments made with the help of Project GREEEN include:
Project GREEEN support was used to maintain and service all essential equipment in the Flour Milling and Baking Labs by the Biosystems Agricultural Engineering R&D Shop at MSU. The maintenance is critical for conducting sound researcher in the Michigan wheat quality research effort.
Through the MSU Product Center, with Project GREEEN funding, the program assisted Michigan food industry professionals and entrepreneurs by providing information, testing services, referrals for food product development and sensory evaluation. The program worked to establish new value-added products and quality evaluation of food safety treatments for the food industry.
Project GREEEN funds were used to support the operation of the Tree Research Center on Jolly Road near the East Lansing campus. The facility is managed by department faculty and personnel, and is shared by researchers performing a variety of projects. Topics studied at the center include disease and pest work, particularly with the emerald ash borer, drought resistance, and using recoverable lumber from fallen trees on campus instead of grinding into wood chips.
The primary use of Project GREEEN funds is for the Enviro-weather website (enviroweather.msu.edu). Enviro-weather provides detailed, high-quality weather information to the public for assistance in making weather-related decisions. Demand for the data and other products the system provides has grown significantly over time, from an average of 96 individual product accesses per day in 2006 to 606 per day in 2015. Peak usage rates can reach as high as 2,000 accesses per day during growing seasons.
The MSU AgBioResearch Horticulture Teaching and Research Center (HTRC) conducted 62 research projects with funding from Project GREEEN. These projects included emerald ash borer mitigation, transplant success of container-grown trees, weed management, high-tunnel fruit production, pest management and more.
The HTRC relies heavily on Project GREEEN funding for maintenance operations. Much of the funding is used to support on-call and temporary workers who cultivate, spray and fertilize field plots, set up irrigation and provide general project assistance.
The HTRC provided appropriate facilities and support for over 60 projects overseen by 22 MSU faculty members with appointments in five academic units and one federal lab.
Project GREEEN funds were used to provide information technology (IT) support for several large genomics, bioinformatics and quantitative projects. Many faculty members in the department use bioinformatics, genomics and quantitative biology in their research and rely heavily on the use of servers for computation. Because of the specialized programs used in this research, they cannot use the university computing facility and must maintain their own. More than half of the IT professional’s time is spent working with faculty members and maintaining the infrastructure that allows them to conduct their research.
With the help of Project GREEEN infrastructure funding, the Department of Plant Biology allocated funds to IT support that has allowed faculty members to generate more than $11 million in external research grants that meet Project GREEEN objectives and priorities.
Funds from Project GREEEN that flow through this department are primarily used to support infrastructure needs at several MSU research sites and facilities. Project GREEEN funds keep the Agronomy and Plant Pathology farms operational, as well as supporting research and extension needs for faculty and staff. A project was completed to improve both surface and subsurface drainage on research sites, greatly improving the value of this land for field research.
Many other project areas benefited from Project GREEEN funding, including: