Virginia Agricultural Council Grants for 2016

Following are the hyperlinked headline and an excerpt from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) 4/27/15 news release on research grants by the Virginia Agricultural Council for 2016.  Other news releases from VDACS are available online at

Virginia Agricultural Council Funds Research Projects Totaling Nearly $315,000, 4/27/15. Excerpt: “At its recent meeting in March, the Virginia Agricultural Council (VAC) reviewed research project proposals and funded 21 new projects totaling almost $220,000, as well as more than $45,000 for four new projects for lawn and turf research.  It also extended funding for a second year on five projects totaling nearly $50,000.  In 1966 the Virginia General Assembly established the Virginia Agricultural Council to provide financial assistance and support for agricultural research, education, and services.  Its purpose is to find new uses for agricultural products, to develop new markets for such products and to promote more efficient and economical methods of agricultural production.  Funding comes from assessments levied on certain agricultural supplies used by farmers, including lime, fertilizer, feed and motor fuel used for agricultural purposes.”

The new projects for 2016 are the following:

Feasibility study on planting, field management and harvesting strategies for successful grain teff in Southeast Virginia – $18,534.

Enhancing embryonic survival in cattle grazing endophyte-infected tall fescue – $7,000;

Summer stockpiling fescue for late-summer grazing – $2,039;

Integrated research and extension education to enhance reproduction on small-scale and niche market pig farms in Virginia – $12,000;

Solving orchardgrass persistence problems in Virginia: hay harvest management and crop heat stress – $9,400;

Reducing fescue pasture toxicity by frost seeding Bermudagrass, alfalfa or clovers –$4,888;

Development of winter malt barley varieties for Virginia and neighboring states – $10,000;

Integrated approaches for reducing synthetic fertilizer inputs in apple orchards – $21,683;

Enhancing rumen development and growth in dairy calves through the use of a Megasphaera elsdenii probiotic supplement – $24,940;

Improving integrated pest management in Virginia cucurbit production – $14,954;

Growing for the future: building a research hop yard at Virginia Tech – $8,900;

Potential western corn rootworm resistance to Bt Corn in Virginia – $12,008;

Determining utilization and efficacy of best management practices for the Virginia nursery industry – $19,607;

Feasibility of sweet potato production in Virginia to supply fresh and processing markets – $17,000;

Evaluation of antimicrobial peptides expression in the gastrointestinal tract of Campylobacter-infected broiler chicks – $9,441;

Feasibility of sweet potato production in Virginia to supply fresh and processing markets – $17,000;

Composition and regional comparison of Virginia grown hops – $7,500;

Re-introduction of buckwheat (a multi-use crop) in Virginia – $20,000;

Characterizing herbicide-resistant annual bluegrass – $12,000;

The heating characteristics of tall fescue/Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermudagrass sods as affected by harvest season, daily time of harvest, turf mowing height and soil moisture at harvest – $7,500

Selective control of perennial grassy weeds in tall fescue, seashore paspalum and Bermudagrass – $15,546;

Efficacy of select insecticides on white grubs and earthworms – $10,217.

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