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Graduate among those receiving ag research funding

July 18, 2011

Recently, Colorado State University graduate student Henry Castleberry has received agricultural research funding for his project concerning the impacts of reduced nitrogen application and potatoes.

Grad student receives ag fundingGraduate student Henry Castleberry cultivates potatoes in the San Luis Valley. Castleberry received a grant for his work on late-season nitrogen applications on potatoes.

A Colorado State University graduate student was awarded a grant for his work in the impacts of reduced nitrogen application in potatoes. Both the student and Colorado area farmer received a total of $54,311 by the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program in 2011.

Improving economic returns

CSU graduate student Henry Castleberry’s project, “Impacts of Reduced Nitrogen Application During Late Growing Season on Potato Tuber Quality and Profitability,” addresses better understanding of the effects of different rates of late-season application of nitrogen on tuber maturity of four russet potato cultivars.

The project goal is to determine if potatoes grown in a sustainable system of reduced nitrogen inputs can produce improved economic returns. Castleberry, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, will provide results to farmers through field days and grower meetings.

“The project will help to determine if growers are economically better off if they do not make late-season nitrogen applications,” Castleberry said. “We are specifically looking at varieties of potatoes that are popular with Colorado farmers to determine if late nitrogen applications actually improve yield, but also if potential quality and storage problems mean that any economic gains made by late nitrogen applications are offset by damage and losses at harvest and in storage.”

Sustaining and helping communities

Western SARE, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program, annually awards grants through five programs to help sustain agriculture, the environment and rural communities. Producers are actively involved in every funded project
The Western SARE program funds competitive grants in five main categories:

  • Professional Development Program grants, ranging between $30,000 and $100,000, are designed to help agricultural professionals train other professionals in sustainable agriculture concepts. Grant proposals are due Nov. 4, 2011.
  • Producer grants provide up to $15,000 for an individual producer and $30,000 for three or more producers to conduct on-farm research. The due date for the next round of proposals is Dec. 2, 2011.
  • Professional + Producer grants are available to agricultural professionals working with producers; the limits are $15,000 with one producer and $50,000 with three or more producers. Proposals are due Dec. 2, 2011.
  • Research and Education grants, which range between $20,000 and $200,000, are available to agricultural researchers for applied research involving agricultural producers. The due date for proposals has passed.
  • Graduate Fellow grants, worth up to $25,000, are used to assist students in their graduate research projects. The due date for proposals has passed.

For information on submitting a grant proposal under the next round of funding, visit Western SARE or call (435) 797-2257. For more site specific information regarding the program, contact Dennis Lamm, Colorado SARE Coordinator, at (970) 491-2074.