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Researchers in the US and Senegal are studying why young people leave peanut farming behind and move to the city, an important question for the future of farming in Senegal’s Groundnut Basin. University of Georgia PhD student Pierre Diatta and Virginia Tech’s Brad Mills (far left and left), will present early findings of the study, along with UGA agricultural economist Genti Kostandini (far right), in a webinar next week. The team is working with Katim Toure, a collaborator at ENSA (École Nationale Supérieure d'Agriculture) in Senegal. CAES News
Young Senegalese Farmers
All over the world, farmers are aging and young people are moving to more urban areas for economic opportunities. Leaders wonder what factors push young people to abandon agriculture and whether technology or other tools can make farming a more attractive option for the next generation. Next week, researchers from the University of Georgia and Virginia Tech will present early findings from research exploring those questions in Senegal, where a team surveyed more than 1,000 peanut-growing households to explore challenges among peanut producers and learn the main reasons why young people turn away from agriculture.
Professor David Bertioli and his wife, Soraya Leal-Bertioli, senior research scientist, work together with peanut plants in their greenhouses at the Center for Applied Genetic Technologies. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA) CAES News
Wild Peanut Genes
A decade ago, University of Georgia plant scientists David and Soraya Bertioli were living and working in Brazil when they began to wonder about peanut plants they encountered in different corners of the world with an astounding ability to withstand fungal diseases without the use of fungicides. The Bertiolis wondered if these different plants might all have something in common. Did they owe their natural resistance to a single genetic source?
Professor David Bertioli and senior research scientist Soraya Leal-Bertioli work together with peanut plants in their greenhouses at the Center for Applied Genetic Technologies. CAES News
Best of Both Worlds
The wild relatives of modern peanut plants have the ability to withstand disease in ways that modern peanut plants can’t. The genetic diversity of these wild relatives means that they can shrug off the diseases that kill farmers’ peanut crops, but they also produce tiny nuts that are difficult to harvest because they burrow deep in the soil.
Steve Brown (left), executive director of the Peanut Research Foundation, and Jeff Johnson, a retired Birdsong Peanuts executive who serves on the Peanut Innovation Lab’s External Advisory Panel, discuss project proposals as the lab started a new five-year program in 2018. (Photo by Allison Floyd) CAES News
Peanut school snacks
Because peanut is nutritious, relatively inexpensive and shelf stable, the nut already is the main component in Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food to help children recover from severe malnutrition and in supplementary foods to prevent malnutrition. Numerous studies show cognitive benefits to people who consume nuts; research currently under way through the Peanut Innovation Lab could directly show that eating peanuts can help children succeed in school.
Professor and Head of the Department of Foods and Nutrition in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences Lynn Bailey speaks about the importance of nutritional interventions for maternal and childhood health at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Global Food Security Summit. CAES News
Food Security Summit
When it comes to the goal of feeding the world’s growing population, the only certainty is that it will take a multipronged approach.
International visitors to the Georgia Peanut Tour pose on the Chase family farm near
Oglethorpe, Ga., in September 2019. The Feed the Future Peanut Innovation Lab at the University of Georgia has facilitated visits from international partners for several years. (Photo by Allison Floyd) CAES News
Peanut Tour
The Peanut Innovation Lab bookended the annual Georgia Peanut Tour, the third week in September, with two more days of activities this year, giving two international groups an even deeper dive into peanut production in the state.
David Jordan, a crop science professor at North Carolina State University, is lead scientist on a project through the Peanut Innovation Lab at the University of Georgia to update a risk assessment tool for farmers in North Carolina and overseas partners. (Photo by Allison Floyd) CAES News
Peanut risk
Researchers in North Carolina have updated a risk assessment tool that empowers peanut farmers there to decide when a pest, weed or weather condition threatens yield enough to invest in fighting it. Along with updating the Peanut Risk Tool to be more usable in North Carolina, the work will make the resource available to extension specialists in other countries, as well, giving them the same ability to forecast risk and reward in the field.
UGA peanut researchers Soraya and David Bertioli were honored at the meeting of the American Peanut Research and Education Society with the American Peanut Council Peanut Research and Education Award. CAES News
Peanut Research
Peanut researchers from the University of Georgia met with hundreds of peanut scientists from around the world earlier this week to discuss the international impact of peanut research and to recognize top researchers.
The Feed the Future Peanut Innovation Lab, headquartered at the University of Georgia, brought together U.S. and African scientists to share plans for research projects they are conducting on peanut production, marketing and nutrition in Uganda. CAES News
Uganda peanut research
Scientists, students and advisors working on Peanut Innovation Lab projects in Uganda met in late May for a launch meeting in Kampala to celebrate the start of work and share questions and insight about the direction of projects.