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CAFNR Research Digest
CAFNR Office of Research Newsletter // October 8, 2020 // 2(19)
Remembering the Legacy of Dr. William Danforth (click to read)
Remembering the Legacy of Dr. William Danforth »

Dr. Danforth helped build partnerships that have strengthened the field of plant sciences in Missouri and beyond

Grant Spotlight
CAFNR, Division of Animal Sciences Receive 2020 Research Equipment Grant (click to read)
CAFNR, Division of Animal Sciences Receive 2020 Research Equipment Grant

A trio of researchers in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) Division of Animal Sciences recently received a 2020 Research Equipment Grant from C-Lock Inc. to purchase one GreenFeed Pasture System, which measures the amount of methane, carbon dioxide, oxygen, hydrogen and hydrogen sulfide gases released by cattle.

Jared Decker, associate professor and state beef Extension specialist, Eric Bailey, assistant professor and state beef Extension specialist, and Derek Brake, assistant professor, are the trio leading the project for CAFNR. Their focus will be on using GreenFeed for the prediction of cow efficiency genetic merit (cow efficiency EPD) by combining gas production data, metabolic theory, and genomic and pedigree data.

C-Lock Inc., founded in 2009, developed and patented GreenFeed. This is the first year of the grant program, which received 44 research proposals from 17 countries and the United States. C-Lock Inc. awarded more than $500,000 total. CAFNR was one of nine projects to be funded.

“We’re honored to be one of the awardees and we’re incredibly excited to begin this research,” Decker said. “It’s a great opportunity for the Division of Animal Sciences and Mizzou as a whole.”

The first step of the project, which will happen over the course of three years, will be to phenotype cattle at the Beef Research and Teaching Farm at the South Farm Research Center in Columbia, Mo. Once those cows are measured, GreenFeed will be transported to the Thompson Research Center (Spickard, Mo.) and the Southwest Research Center (Mt. Vernon, Mo.). Decker, Bailey and Brake will also move to measure gas production of privately owned cattle that have been DNA tested in other CAFNR research projects. This data will be combined with other metabolism and genomic projects that the trio have recently launched.

“We will collect gas production data on 1,500 to 2,300 beef cows to produce a genomic prediction of cow efficiency,” Decker said. “If this cow efficiency EPD is created, then bull and heifer developers, seedstock operations and progeny testing herds will be motivated to collect this data using a GreenFeed system.”

Agricultural Research Centers
Baskett Research Center Virtual Field Day – Oct. 13 (click to read)
Baskett Research Center Virtual Field Day – Oct. 13 »

Baskett Research Center will be part of the virtual field day season and will offer several presentations that will be available via the Center’s website and Facebook page.

South Farm Research Center Virtual Field Day – Oct. 20 (click to read)
South Farm Research Center Virtual Field Day – Oct. 20 »

South Farm Research Center will go virtual this year and will offer a handful of online, prerecorded presentations. The videos will be available via the Center’s website and Facebook page.

Visit the links below to check out previous Agricultural Research Center Virtual Field Days.

Graduate Student Spotlight
Bruna Mussi Just, Plant, Insect & Microbial Sciences (click to read)
Bruna Mussi Just, Plant, Insect & Microbial Sciences

What is your research focus?
I am currently on my last year of my master’s degree. My emphasis is in plant pathology, which is one of the branches of our plant, insect & microbial sciences program. My research focus is on understanding how widespread the fungicide resistance of the causal agent of the disease Frogeye Leaf Spot (FLS) is in Missouri soybeans.

During the summer field season, I receive and collect possible FLS infected leaves from multiple soybean fields across the state and run a few tests with the leaves. Once the tests can confirm whether the sample collected is resistant or not to the fungicide used to control the disease, I can better understand how the disease is progressing in the state and can be able to manage and control the spread of fungicide resistance organisms.

Why does this field interest you?
I have an interest in plant pathology due to its broad range of applications. I can work in a laboratory and understand how organisms affect our regional crops; I also get to help people understand how important plant pathology is by communicating during meetings and field visits; and I get participate in all that with the help of very talented collaborators across Mizzou and the nation who work towards the same goal: improving farming.

Why did you decide to come to Mizzou?
Mizzou was one of my top choices for graduate degree due to its central locale and the ability of being a part of multidisciplinary program. After visiting the campus and getting to know my advisor, Dr. Bissonnette, I felt that Mizzou had a lot more to offer than just a high-quality research program. Mizzou offers collaboration and excellent mentors who do not hesitate to help when needed.

Who is your advisor?
Dr. Kaitlyn Bissonnette.

What are your future career plans?
After graduating, I would love to work with development of new agricultural technologies and communication and outreach. I feel that we still have a long way to go on making agronomical science understandable and reachable to the general public, and without their support and acceptance launching new products could be difficult.

Research Roars

Mizzou Part of Recent Business Development Grants from USDA Rural Development

Twenty organizations statewide, including the University of Missouri, have received funds from the USDA Rural Development’s highly competitive Rural Business Development Grant Program, which partners with businesses to provide funding for expansion, training, technical assistance and other economic development opportunities ensuring Missouri’s rural communities prosper and grow. The grants total over $1 million, and will create jobs and increase economic opportunities.

The University of Missouri will use a $100,000 grant as part of this funding to build a commodity barn at our Thompson Research Center in Spickard. CAFNR faculty and staff will use the barn in research identifying ways to increase revenue from beef cattle feedlot operations in the state.

Until the middle of April, we included listings of CAFNR faculty who received grant awards. We discontinued this when the official source listing these awards was not available. This resource is available again, so we will return to listing grant awards. The following awards listed were posted in August 2020 (listed by Principal Investigator):

Nicole Anderson, Using virtual reality to increase student understanding and interest in farm animal welfare, 9/15/2020-9/14/2023, $270,117, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Stephen H. Anderson, Great Rivers CESU – Soil sample testing for NRCS-IL Soil Survey 68-3A75-18-504, 9/1/2020-6/30/2025, $100,000, Department of Agriculture

Bruce Barrett, Acquisition of Goods & Services – Plant Genetics FY20-21, 4/1/2020-3/31/2021, $36,234, Agricultural Research Service

Thomas W. Bonnot, Brown-headed Nuthatch Research Technician Support, 7/1/2020-6/30/2021, $37,000, Missouri Department of Conservation

Derek Brake, What Effect Does Essential Oil Have On Performance Of Calves Fed A Commercially Available Complete Feed During The Backgrounding Phase? 7/22/2020-12/31/2020, $25,978.62, MFA Inc.

Pengyin Chen, Screening and Selecting Non-Xtend Soybeans for Dicamba Tolerance, 7/1/2020-6/30/2021, $65,500, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council

Pengyin Chen, Screening soybean germplasm and breeding soybeans for flood tolerance, 7/1/2020-6/30/2021, $160,000, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council

Daniel Downing, Heartland – Extension Disaster Education Network – Building Resiliency in the Heartland, 9/1/2019-8/31/2021, $97,937, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Christine G. Elsik, Enabling tools for microbiome-based trait selection in dairy cows, 6/15/2020-6/14/2021, $33,411, University of Wisconsin Madison

James T. English, Acquisition of Goods and Services – 966 Admin Costs, 4/1/2019-3/31/2020, $1,060, Agricultural Research Service

Felix Fritschi, Genetic Analysis and Physiology Studies of Transgenic Soybeans (Glycine max), 1/1/2020-9/30/2020, $39,112, ZEAKAL Inc.

Karen Funkenbusch, Missouri AgrAbility Project, 9/1/2018-8/31/2021, $180,000, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Mary K. Hendrickson, Understanding And Overcoming Barriers To Adoption Of Organic Agriculture In The Mid-South, 9/1/2020-8/31/2023, $422,307, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, The Economics and Policies of Genome Editing Technologies in Agriculture and Food, 10/1/2019-9/30/2020, $150,000, Osborn Barr Agency

Robert L. Kallenbach, Pesticide Applicator Certification Training, 8/20/2020-8/19/2021, $200,000, Missouri Department of Agriculture

Sarah Taylor Lovell, Multifunctional Perennial Cropping Systems for local food and biomass production for small farmers in the Upper Sangamon River Watershed, 8/15/2020-8/14/2022, $186,656, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Matthew C. Lucy, Estradiol and IGF1 Assays and Trenbolone Assay Development, 8/6/2018-8/5/2022, $17,500, ZOETIS

Raymond E. Massey, Economic Opportunities from Improved Animal Waste Management, 8/13/2020-12/31/202, $161,921, Department of Agriculture

Seth Meyer, COVID19 Impacts on U.S. Ag Commodity Market and Trade, 6/1/2020-6/30/2021, $256,491, Texas A&M University

Seth Meyer, Weather extremes, infrastructure, and its impacts on U.S. corn and soybean basis levels, 4/6/2020-7/1/2022, $150,000, Department of Agriculture

Gerald Leo Miller Jr., Evaluation of Experimental Kentucky Bluegrass Cultivars from Columbia River Seed for Use in the Transition Zone, 9/1/2020-12/31/2023, $12,000, Columbia River Seed

Robert Myers, Improving Soil and Crop Management Decisions With Proximal-Sensing Assessments of Soil Health and Soil Planting Conditions, 9/1/2019-8/31/2021, $52,773, Agricultural Research Service

Robert Myers, Technology Transfer and Training for Cover Crops and Soil Health, 12/1/2019-5/31/2021, $284,436, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

Jamille Palacios Rivera, Revisiting the Drivers of On-Farm Food Loss at the Macro Level, 8/4/2020-8/31/2022, $21,000, Department of Agriculture

Randall S. Prather, National Swine Resource and Research Center 18, 8/1/2020-7/31/2021, $1,304,442, NIH Office of the Director

Randall S. Prather, National Swine Resource and Research Center COVID Admin Supplement, 8/21/2020-7/31/2021, $499,943, NIH Office of the Director

Randall S. Prather, Transgenic Pigs with Red-shifted Channelrhodopsin-Citrine Fusion Proteins, 7/1/2020-6/30/2021, $52,685, University of Florida

Jon Simonsen, Enhancing Farmer Resiliency and financial benchmarking diversity through technology inspired delivery and collaborative mentorship, 9/1/2020-8/31/2021, $499,992, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Reid Smeda, Monsanto Service Order #129, 6/1/2020-5/31/2021, $31,920, Monsanto Co.

Michael C. Stambaugh, Goats, Smoke, and Oaks: Targeted goat browsing and prescribed fire as a means to halt mesophication and promote biodiversity in Ozark Hardwood Ecosystems, 9/30/2020-9/30/2021, $24,840, Bureau of Land Management

Jinglu Tan, Acquisition of Goods and Services-Cropping Systems & Water Quality FY20-21, 4/1/2020-3/31/2021, $45,000, Agricultural Research Service

Joanna Whittier, Modeling Water Quality and In-stream Biological Endpoints of Agricultural Conservation in the Mississippi River Basin, $135,318, Department of Agriculture

William J. Wiebold, Grape and Wine Institute FY21, 7/1/2020-6/30/2021, $836,203, Missouri Department of Agriculture

Jianfeng Zhou, Hay Yield Mapping by Proximal and Remote Sensing, 8/1/2020-7/31/2021, $15,320, Agricultural Research Service

Provided by the MU Office of Research

In the News

Constant crop canopy improves soil health

The Farmer

Local families receive ‘Century Farm’ designations

News Tribune

Trump Administration invests more than $1 million in rural business development in Missouri


Young Farmers Continue Area’s Rich Livestock Tradition


The header photo shows a drone image of an “MU” made from pumpkins and sunflowers by Noel Aloysius, assistant professor of bioengineering and natural resources, and his students at Jefferson Farm and Garden on Friday, Sept. 25. Aloysius used drones to monitor drought on crops at Jefferson over the summer.