01-23-17 Colorado Corn Administrative Committee commits $130,100 to research focused on production efficiency

Colorado Corn LogoColorado Corn Administrative Committee commits $130,100 to research focused on production efficiency

One of the top priorities of the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee (CCAC) has long been assisting local farmers in their quest to produce more food, feed, fuel and fiber with less resources and through more economically and agronomically sustainable production methods.

And that tradition continued this month, as the CCAC’s Research Action Team committed another $130,100 to various projects focusing on drought tolerance, crop-disease mitigation, hybrid development, crop-residue management, and other aspects of sustainability in agriculture.

These investments come in addition to the $650,000-plus that the CCAC invested in research endeavors from 2011-2016.

For decades, the CCAC has provided dollars – as well as input and other resources – to a long list of projects that have evaluated irrigation practices, alternative water-transfer methods, seed varieties, root structure, meat quality, farm safety, environmental impacts, biofuels and rotational fallowing, among a number of other focuses.

Along the way, the CCAC has teamed up with municipalities, businesses, universities, research facilities, the state of Colorado and many others – relationships the organization will continue building upon in the never-ending effort to bring more tools and knowledge to Colorado’s producers.

The funds for these research projects come from a one-penny-per-bushel assessment on corn grown in Colorado, with the farmers who serve as CCAC board members ultimately deciding where those dollars are invested.

“The Colorado Corn Administrative Committee invests and leverages its dollars and resources toward endeavors that run the gamut of market development, outreach, education and regulatory affairs. But our research projects rank among the most important investments, if not the most critical,” said CCAC President Mike Lefever, a Longmont-area resident who farms ground near Haxtun. “Taking continuous steps forward in producing more with less resources – and discovering the most sustainable methods of doing so – is absolutely vital, not only for us farmers, but for everyone. And with the knowledge gained from these research projects, we continue taking the needed steps forward.”

Following meetings and presentations in recent weeks, the CCAC Research Action Team agreed to fund the following projects:

  • $48,249 to Colorado State University’s John McKay, to fund various local efforts needed for involving Colorado in a national collaborative project, aimed at identifying the specific genes that cause elite hybrids to be sensitive to drought.
  • $43,663 to CSU’s Kirk Broders, to further examine the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas vasicola pv vasculorum (Xvv) – officially reported in the U.S. in 2016 (although it had likely been present before that), with some of the most severe disease pressure observed in Colorado. The information gained from the research will be used to develop mitigation strategies and outreach and education materials.
  • $30,000 to CSU’s Todd Gaines, to lead research on the glyphosate-resistant weed Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), with specific goals aimed at addressing environmental and economic sustainability for growers, providing practical value for weed management, and addressing management issues related to biotechnology.
  • $8,188 to CSU Extension’s Joel Schneekloth, to quantify the effects of residue removal and/or tillage on winter soil moisture recharge in irrigated agriculture, as well as the impacts to irrigation requirements for the following growing season and other aspects of these corn-production methods.

Colorado Corn, based in Greeley, is made up of the Colorado Corn Growers Association and Colorado Corn Administrative Committee. The Colorado Corn Growers Association is comprised of dues-paying members who are politically active, focusing on policy that impacts corn producers and agriculture in general. The Colorado Corn Administrative Committee oversees how Colorado’s corn check-off dollars (one penny per bushel of corn produced in the state) are spent on research, market development, outreach, education and other various endeavors. See more about the work of the two organizations at www.coloradocorn.com.