Vilsack: Seed research key to food security

Vilsack: Seed research key to food security

Important seed research is being conducted at the United States Department of Agriculture to help maintain a healthy agriculture system.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack talked about the importance of seed research and preservation during a visit to a Colorado State University lab.

"A substantial number of seed samples and germplasm collected here allows us to ensure that we will always have the great diversity. And it enables and empowers folks at Colorado State University and throughout the United States to do the necessary research that will allow us to continue to focus on productivity and protection of crops, which in turn allows us to be a food secure nation," said Vilsack.

Scientists at USDA's Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland are also at the forefront of seed research and preservation efforts.

"It is our safeguard to unknown pests and disease and other environmental stresses that may develop in the future, so if we're striving for a sustainable agriculture part of that is to sustain our crop genetic diversity," Richard Olsen, with the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

A current problem being addressed by seed preservation is the threat to ash trees from the emerald ash borer.

"We can conserve ash if we can put it in seed storage. We have the science, we have the ability, we have the understanding to conserve this species through seed storage," said researcher Kevin Conrad.

Experts estimate the borer has caused billions of dollars in damage.

Learn more about efforts to control the emerald ash borer on the USDA website.

This report is from our partners at the USDA.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and RFDTV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.