ItemWater for food: Everyone’s challengeAndreini, Mark (NABC, 2012)In the United States we have tremendous potential as a result of high yields and large-scale producers. The western part of the US corn belt produces more than 40% of the world’s corn and soybean. Despite problems and concerns, we expect that high yields will be maintained—even in the face of major shocks—and that our agricultural practices will have acceptable environmental effects. We know that climate change will have an impact, but, because we are resilient, there is the expectation that we will keep producing and feed ourselves. But without serious efforts to curb water use, this expectation may be wrong. And the situation in some countries in the developing world is dire. Collaboration and research are needed to overcome this. ItemWater conservation planning: How a systems approach to irrigation promotes sustainable water useSullivan, Michael E.; Delp, Walter M. (NABC, 2012)The NRCS focuses on helping individual landowners implement conservation practices across the landscape and in targeted locations. By providing technical and financial assistance, NRCS in Arkansas is helping people help the land and move toward water sustainability in agriculture. ItemOptimizing agricultural water for food, the environment and urban useWaskom, Reagan M (NABC, 2012)Irrigated agriculture remains the primary consumptive use of water in the United States; however, population growth, environmental needs and changing societal values are driving a reallocation of water away from agriculture. It is projected that, by 2030, 33 million additional people will be living in the western United States, requiring approximately 30 billion more gallons of water for consumption per year. In much of the semi-arid areas of the world, new water resources will be in limited supply, particularly if remaining watersheds, aquifers and streams are protected from additional withdrawals for crop or livestock production. ItemA producer-led framework to assess water sustainability in agriculture: The NISA exampleColquhoun, Jed (NABC, 2012)Great strides could be made in sustainable natural-resource use from agricultural and societal standpoints with a few relatively simple choices. From an agricultural standpoint, if the goal is to reduce water use and crop yield is improved through biotechnology and innovative practices, then land should be taken out of production. Using the same amount of a resource such as water to produce more will address some of the needs of a growing population, but will not address the limitations of that resource ItemTyson Foods, Inc., Sustainable water-use assessment: A study conducted by the Center for Agriculture and Rural Sustainability at the University of ArkansasBurr, Jamie (NABC, 2012)The assessment providing information for 100 Tyson locations in 22 states indicated that 34 of the locations may be at risk of water scarcity. The assessment provides a tool that can be used as risk analysis; however, these indices account for withdrawal only and not for consumption of water. It is important to evaluate the local water availability to get a more accurate picture of water scarcity at the location level. ItemAn introduction to the sustainability consortiumLewis, Sarah (NABC, 2012)More and more demands are being made on our natural resources because of increasing population and because lifestyles are changing. People are consuming more and we must address these increasing demands. The Sustainability Consortium’s objective is to improve decision making for product sustainability throughout the product life cycle. ItemViewpoints and changing practices of Arkansas rice farmersVester, Ray (NABC, 2012)To grow crops and to feed this country, water is essential. Farmers used to having abundant water must begin to use water-saving devices: just because you have abundant water doesn’t mean you are entitled to use it wastefully. Our challenge as agricultural leaders is to bring this knowledge to the farming community. ItemAgriculture and sustainable practices: Protecting water qualityOsmond, D.; Meals, D.; Hoag, D.; Arabi, M.; Luloff, A.; McFarland, M.; Jennings, G.; Sharpley, A.; Spooner, J.; Line, D. (NABC, 2012)Conservation practices are used to protect vital resources, such as soil and water, while maintaining productive agriculture. Scientists have conducted hundreds of research projects on conservation practices over decades and the volume of research is evident in the compilation of bibliographies by the Water Quality Information Center at the National Agricultural Library, in conjunction with the USDA, to support the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). The CEAP was created in 2003 to understand and optimize environmental benefits of conservation practices implemented via selected USDA conservation programs. Overall, the goal of CEAP is to improve the efficacy of conservation practices and programs by quantifying conservation effects and providing the science and education base needed to improve future conservation planning, implementation, management decisions, and policy. ItemReaching the potential of water-quality tradingMoore, Richard H. (NABC, 2012)The future of water-quality trading in Ohio will depend on the severity of the algal blooms and hypoxia in Lake Erie and the Gulf of Mexico, respectively. Ohio is a state with several contrasting water-quality-trading programs that differ in scale and approach. Much of what happens with water-quality trading in Ohio depends on the extent to which the nutrients are regulated. ItemAgricultural management, water quality and ecology: Putting practice into policySharpley, Andrew; Jarvie, Helen (NABC, 2012)Point sources of water-quality impairment have been reduced due to their ease of identification and the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972. However, water-quality problems remain, and as further point-source control becomes less cost effective, attention is being directed towards the role of agricultural nonpoint sources in water-quality degradation. Today, continuing water-quality impairment has led to major initiatives to reduce losses ItemTechnology approaches to drought tolerance at PioneerWarner, Dave (NABC, 2012)Research focused on the improvement of drought tolerance in crop plants has received increased attention. The development of drought-tolerance technologies is one of the most important initiatives for the seed industry in this decade. Increasing worldwide demands for food and agricultural products, combined with fixed amounts of arable land is driving a need for increased productivity. At the same time in freshwater resources are in decline. Public efforts to restrict water usage focus on ways to maintain sustainable water levels in major aquifers and reservoirs. ItemWe can now solve the 10,000-year-old problem of agricultureJackson, Wes (NABC, 2012)To solve the 10,000-year-old problem of agriculture, the predominant feature of which has been soil erosion, we will need to develop perennial grains. If we are to adequately manage insects, pathogens and weeds as well as biological nitrogen fixation, we will need polycultures. ItemEvaluation of drought-tolerance strategies in cottonAllen, Randy D. (NABC, 2012)Genomic information and genetic resources have led to a substantial increase in our knowledge about how plants respond to stressful environmental conditions. This provides the basis for many new strategies for optimization of stress tolerance in crop plants through both traditional and transgenic approaches. Application of novel stress-tolerance technologies will require extensive physiological and agronomic evaluation of plants that express these genes to determine their ultimate applicability to crop systems. Preliminary work with transgenic cotton plants show that optimization of expression patterns using different promoters or other regulatory strategies will be necessary. ItemThe Lake Winnipeg bioeconomy projectVenema. Hank (NABC, 2012)Presented is an example of how we can use agricultural biotechnology to address a major regional environmental systems problem. The Lake Winnipeg Bioeconomy Project is founded on the idea that a lake—in this case, Lake Winnipeg—can serve as the focus for a transformed agenda around innovative agricultural water management, with the potential to yield economic benefits.