Purdue Researchers Examine Ag Sustainability

Posted: Updated:
WEST LAFAYETTE -

A team of researchers from Purdue University is embarking on a mission to explore agricultural sustainability as it pertains to a growing global population. The National Science Foundation awarded $2.5 million to an interdisciplinary team of Purdue researchers to examine how global stresses can affect local communities and vice-versa. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also awarded an additional $500,000 to the program.

The team headed up by Thomas Hertel, a Purdue professor of agricultural economics, will include political scientists, hydrologists, climatologists and others. 

“Agriculture is experiencing sustainability stresses related to land, water quality and water availability, and those will intensify in the future. Most of the drivers of those stresses will be global, and we need to understand how those affect local communities,” Hertel said. “As we look at potential solutions, we need to know what is most feasible, the side effects and how those will feed back to the global economy.”

The team grew out of Purdue’s Big Idea Challenge, which funds interdisciplinary research on global challenges and life-changing innovations.

“Local policies must be evaluated at a global scale to truly understand their impacts,” said David Johnson, Purdue assistant professor of industrial engineering.  As an example, Johnson says restricting the use of the Ogallala Aquifer for crop irrigation in the Great Plains would help reduce the depletion of water levels of the underground aquifer, but it could also increase food prices and lead to deforestation elsewhere in the world. “Wherever regulation makes crop production less efficient, we have to think carefully about where production might shift to meet global demand.” The Ogallala is one of the world’s largest aquifers and it underlies about 175,000 square miles beneath eight states.

The researchers are searching for win-win policies that could lead to more sustainable agricultural practices without sacrificing the ability to feed rapidly growing global populations.

  • Perspectives

    • Time Management: When and How to Work to Your Max Productivity

      Time is the one resource in your life that is neither replenishable nor renewable. Regardless of how you spin it, everyone starts each day on an equal playing field with 24 hours in the time bank. And while people often yearn for more time, what they really need is better time management. Understanding where your time goes, when you are most productive, and why you should protect yourself against distractions are the keys to achieving your max productivity.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Photo courtesy of MutualBank

      MutualBank President Dies

      The President and Chief Operating Officer of Muncie-based MutualBank Pat Botts has died. In a statement on Facebook posted Sunday, the company said the passing was unexpected.

    • Photo courtesy of Indiana Premium outlets

      Simon Announces New Name for Shopping Center

      Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) has announced Edinburgh Premium Outlets will become Indiana Premium Outlets. The company says extensive enhancements are currently underway to reflect the new name and are slated for completion by Holiday 2019. 

    • Artist rendering of proposed headquarters for Ruoff Home Mortgage in Fort Wayne.

      Ruoff to Build New HQ in Downtown Fort Wayne

      Fort Wayne-based Ruoff Home Mortgage has announced plans to build a $43 million corporate headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne. Plans call for a 110-thousand square foot, nine-story structure, at the corner of Ewing Street and Jefferson Boulevard. The building would include leasable office and retail space, as well as a parking garage. It would overlook Parkview Field, home of the Fort Wayne Tin Caps minor league baseball team. The company is currently located on...

    • (file photo courtesy of Radial)

      Radial to Hire 1,800 Seasonal Workers in Brownsburg

      Pennsylvania-based Radial Inc. has announced plans to grow its seasonal workforce in Brownsburg. The company, which opened its 700,000-square-foot fulfillment center in the Hendricks County city in June, says it will add 1,800 workers ahead of the holiday season. Radial is an e-commerce technology and operations company and says a dramatic increase in online spending will lead to higher demand for workers at the new facility this year. The jobs will mainly be...

    • (photo courtesy of Aptiv)

      Irish Tech Company Coming to Westfield

      An Ireland-based technology company has announced plans to set up operations in Westfield. The city says Aptiv PLC (NYSE: APTV) will invest more than $9 million to open an engineering lab in the Westfield Business Centre and bring in 50 jobs.