The Mississippi River region that was flooded when the Army Corps of Engineers blew a two-mile hole on the 35-mile-long Bird’s Point-New Madrid floodway is too economically important not to restore to agricultural use, said a University of Missouri professor who conducts soil and crop research in the area.
Fisher Delta Research Center ⋅ Page 7
Two of four recipients of the 2011 Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award were CAFNR staff members. The awards recognize individual staff contributions to the University.
The corn-like grass, which can grow to 12 feet, shows promise as a source of ethanol, said Gene Stevens, MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources extension associate professor. He is evaluating initial research results on ways to genetically adapt a plant that is not normally productive in Missouri to create something that could serve as a homegrown source of alternative fuel.
Almost in the dead center bull’s eye of the storm was the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Delta Research Center in Portageville, Mo. After securing their own operation, clearing roads of downed trees and utility poles and starting generators to provide electricity, the staff of the center went out into the community to help others.
In an unexpected place, the Bootheel of Missouri, a research program that could increase rice production began just as the world was reading the shortage news. Using a system of watering familiar to Midwestern farmers, center-pivot irrigation, the study is looking to grow rice on land where it cannot now be planted. If successful, the project could significantly increase rice production.