Feed the World
Agriculture faculty blanket Missouri with research and services.
MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) exerts a global influence on agricultural progress. The plant and animal sciences faculty group ranks 15th worldwide in the number of times other scientists cite its studies. The college not only creates new knowledge but also shares it with Missouri farmers through University of Missouri Extension agents statewide.
Because Missouri’s soil, topography and weather vary by region, CAFNR research supports the state’s agriculture with a divide-and-conquer approach. The college’s research centers statewide devote nearly 14,000 acres to discovering, testing and sharing knowledge to help farmers and natural-resource managers. These facilities host more than 35,000 people a year at field days and extension activities.
MU researchers help maintain beef as the third most important commodity in Missouri, with 1.9 million head and $1.4 billion in annual sales (2010). Because consumers are willing to pay more for better cuts, Mizzou’s Quality Beef by the Numbers program combines MU research on artificial insemination, DNA analysis, genetic selection and economic analysis to increase the percentage of cattle that produce the two highest levels of meat quality. This could add $200 to $300 a head to the price farmers get for top cows.
Resist the ’tode
Soybeans grow on 5.3 million Missouri acres. The seeds, which contain 40 percent protein and 20 percent oil, go into food, farm feeds and some fuels. But microscopic worms (nematodes) feed on the crop, causing $1.2 billion in annual yield losses nationwide. MU researchers have bred several generations of nematode-resistant soybean varieties that help Missouri remain among the top 10 U.S. soybean producers.