(Posted Thu. Jun 21st, 2018)
The National Agricultural Genotyping Center, launched with the assistance of the National Corn Growers Association, marks its two-year anniversary today and it does so with a significant list of accomplishments in both facilitating research and solving problems for farmers.
NAGC’s mission is to translate scientific discoveries, such as the information from the multiple crop genome projects, into solutions for production agriculture, food safety, functional foods, bioenergy and national security.
“We’re proud of the accomplishments of NAGC to date to solve problems concerning farmers and the public,” said NAGC Board Chairman Bob Bowman. “Ongoing projects related to early identification of plant diseases, more efficient ethanol production and solving the riddle of honey bee colony collapse are clearly delineating the NAGC’s role as a service-oriented facility. Efforts are underway to expand these unique services to other crops and the livestock industry.”
Bowman notes the state-of-the art Genotyping Center has built a reputation for using its high-throughput genotyping technology to both inform and solve problems facing agriculture.
The fee-for-service non-profit facility received ISO 17025 designation recently which demonstrates that they operate competently and generate valid results, thereby promoting confidence in their assay work both nationally and around the world.
NAGC is currently working with several research facilities as a facilitator/validator of their work to speed up farmer’s access to technology and assessment tools. They are specifically targeting bacterial and fungal pathogens like Northern Corn Leaf Blight, Fusarium, Goss’s Wilt, Grey Leaf Spot and Southern Rust which cost corn farmers millions of dollars annually.
“Our 5-10-year vision is to develop a predictive model for farmers that acts as an early detection system for key plant pathogens,” Bowman said. “The model will include information like soil data, weather, hybrid/variety selection, seed treatment and fungicide use to allow farmers to take their management to a new level.
“NAGC has already commercialized tools to help crop producers and all of agriculture,” Bowman noted, “including a screening assay for honey bee diseases and faster and more effective tests to accurately identify corn diseases like Xanthomonas and Goss’s Wilt. Because we are farmer-directed, we are looking for input from farmers and farmer organizations for potential projects that should be tackled by NAGC to increase its value to the Agriculture community.”