Rutgers University Receives Funding to Develop Healthier Cranberry Crops

May 31, 2017
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture last week announced 54 grants totaling more than $17.7 million for plant research that helps optimize crop production, mitigate disease and increase yield – including $456,727 for Rutgers University to conduct advanced research to develop more-nutritious cranberry crops in New Jersey.

“Plants are the foundation of diet for both humans and animals,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “It is imperative to invest in research to stay ahead of the biological and environmental constraints, and develop new technologies to produce a secure, nutritious food supply for a growing population.”

As U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) noted, “New Jersey agriculture is key to our region’s economic competitiveness, so I applaud Rutgers for taking this important step in ensuring we remain at the forefront of cranberry production. Federal investments like this in technology and innovation, particularly in agriculture, are critical to growing the Garden State’s economy and boosting job creation.”

The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative program, USDA’s flagship competitive grants program for foundational and translational research, education and extension projects in the food and agricultural sciences.

“One of society’s most basic necessities is a healthy, reliable source of food,” said U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (also D-N.J.). “Investments like this, designed to boost innovation in one of New Jersey’s most important crops, will not only assist with the development of a healthier cranberry, but will also boost New Jersey’s important agriculture industry.” —J.K.-H.

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