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Texas tech leads $4.9M climate smart crop research
USAgNet - 12/06/2023

Texas Tech University's agricultural scientists have embarked on a pioneering journey, backed by a $4.9 million grant, to revolutionize farming on the Texas High Plains. Led by Krishna Jagadish, a distinguished professor, this interdisciplinary project is set to explore the frontiers of climate smart crops.

It involves an extensive team from the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources and engages 20 producers from 10 counties.

The study's main focus is on three key climate-smart commodities: sorghum-cotton rotation, no-till, and multispecies cover crops. By integrating these practices, the project aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby enhancing both environmental and economic sustainability.

This initiative is a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities program, emphasizing the efficient use of resources in farming.

The participating producers are committed to incorporating these climate-smart practices into their operations, demonstrating a proactive approach to sustainable agriculture.

The project not only looks to establish low-cost proxies for greenhouse gas emissions but also to create a strong foundation for real, problem-solving research with regional and global impacts.

This research crosses disciplinary boundaries, addressing critical issues like water security and climate adaptation. The team comprises experts in soil microbial ecology, water conservation, agricultural economics, crop ecophysiology, plant physiology, environmental soil chemistry, natural resources management, and agricultural education.

As the project progresses, the team will establish a robust baseline for tracking greenhouse gas reductions and determine the economic outcomes of adopting these climate-smart commodities.

Additionally, they plan to use remote sensing tools and soil moisture sensors for monitoring crop growth and developing water-conserving approaches.

In its later stages, the project will focus on disseminating findings through farm walks and demonstrations, assisting producers in adopting practices that best suit their operations.

Collaborations with the National Sorghum Producers and the National Cotton Council are also in the pipeline to establish markets for these climate-smart commodities.

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