MU to receive funds for building drought resistant soil

Apr 4, 2013

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will announce on Thursday that it will fund a University of Missouri project focused on building drought resiliency through soil health.

It's part of a set of USDA grants designed to spur research meant to help farmers and ranchers hit hard by drought.

The $ 5.3 million in funds will go to 12 universities and a group of Native American tribes across the country for the study of soil health, irrigation efficiency, forage systems and water conservation. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said these grants are a response to two bad years of weather – first flooding then drought.

"It’s important for us to begin to figure out ways in which we can adapt to these more extreme weather conditions and specifically to drought since it’s been so widespread," Vilsack said. "And and we’ve had some areas of the country that have suffered from it for a considerable period of time."

Through demonstrations and trainings, researchers from Colorado to Missouri will be required to teach farmers and ranchers the best land management practices during drought or flood.