2016 Coordinator's Message

2016 Coordinator's Message

This summer’s outbreak of spotted wing drosophila (SWD) was a serious concern for fruit growers throughout Michigan. Fortunately, the agriculture industry was better prepared than it would have been just a few years ago, thanks in large part to MSU research and Extension activities funded by Project GREEEN. The invasive insect from Asia is one of many industry concerns that GREEEN continues to address in timely and relevant ways. 

In this year’s report, we showcase some of the ongoing work and impacts of Project GREEEN – the plant-based research endeavor that began nearly two decades ago – including a feature on SWD. MSU scientists at research facilities throughout the state, including Traverse City and Fennville, continue to test several integrated pest management strategies for SWD management with some promising results.

The unique Project GREEEN partnership between MSU, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the plant-based commodity organizations and others, with funding support from the state, has served as the model for the formation of other similar groups – most recently, the Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture (M-AAA). 

I’d like to thank all of our partners and the Michigan legislators for their continued support of programs such as Project GREEEN and M-AAA. These partnerships allow MSU to tackle emerging issues and help farmers face day-to-day threats.

It’s wonderful to see MSU build on its strong research history, most recently with the announcement of the new MSU Plant Resilience Institute. The institute will conduct fundamental research to identify mechanisms that contribute to plant resilience and enhance plant productivity. The work will also focus on understanding how plants cope with environmental conditions associated with climate change.

Estimates indicate that agricultural production must nearly double by 2050 to feed the world’s growing population. Add the impacts of climate change and the growing scarcity of land and water, and you have one of the world’s greatest challenges.

From fields, orchards and vineyards to world-class growth chambers that enable scientists to simulate environmental conditions associated with climate change to state-of-the-art genomics instrumentation, MSU’s investment in infrastructure has created a plant science research community that is among the best in the world. Go GREEEN!

Douglas Buhler
Coordinator, Project GREEEN
Director, MSU AgBioResearch

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