Significant investment was recently made through the Small Business Innovation Research Program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is investing more than $2.3 million dollars in projects through the program. A total of $812,939 has been granted to eight projects to improve plant production and protection. Eight awards totaling $797,602 will be used for projects addressing animal production and protection. Seven projects for conserving natural resources are also receiving a total of $706,120.
“NIFA’s Small Business Innovation Research program stimulates technological innovations in the private sector and strengthens the role of federal research and development in support of small businesses,” NIFA Director Dr. Carrie Castille said in a press release. “This program also fosters and encourages participation by women-owned and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.”
Several of the Small Business Innovation Research projects are based in California. Davis-based Agrinerds, Inc. will be working on a project to improve food safety and efficiency within poultry production. A project from Stephen Peterson, based in Foresthill, will be evaluating the use of Osmia ribifloris as a pollinator for blueberries. The project from Santa Clara-based Apex Bait Technologies will be looking at a liquid bait to help control stable flies in livestock production systems. Seacoast Science in Carlsbad will be working on a lightweight, high-performance ammonia detector with wireless networking capabilities. Stanford-based Nitricity Inc. will work on the development of a low-cost arc reactor for on-farm nitrogen fixation.
Other NIFA investments include a project for developing new vaccines to treat respiratory infections in poultry. A project from Oxford Biomedical Research looks to develop a better method for determining the freshness of chicken feed on farms. Other projects address phosphorus in fields and streams, E. coli detection, and water treatment for ag irrigation. The next request for Small Business Innovation Research applications will begin in July and end sometime in October.