USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced more than $5 million in grants to address air quality issues, including reducing agricultural atmospheric emissions and developing new mitigation practices.

"Agricultural producers need the most effective practices and technologies to prevent or mitigate greenhouse gases or other contributors to climate change," said Roger Beachy, USDA chief scientist and NIFA director. "This research will build effective mitigation strategies and help farmers and foresters learn and adopt best management practices that reduce agricultural emissions."

The grants are funded through NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Air Quality program, which supports research, education and extension projects to enhance the effectiveness and productivity of U.S air quality research. These projects reflect the growing need to develop research-based information on air quality issues for developing effective mitigation strategies and best management practices to protect our natural resources and environment.

Projects funded in Fiscal Year 2009 include one that will develop a novel method for greenhouse gas measurement from farms, three projects that develop tools and models to better predict emissions and dispersion of particulate matter from animal production facilities and gain a better understanding of factors governing emissions that will help identify points of mitigation.

At the University of California, Fresno, scientists will study the impact of dairy facilities on regional ozone, particulate matter, greenhouse gases and odor levels. The project activities will be used to train students in research techniques and to develop new courses to encourage students to pursue agriculturally-related science, technology, engineering and math careers.

The Fiscal Year 2009 grants are being awarded to:

• California State University, Fresno, Calif., $597,990

• Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, Colo., $400,000

• Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La., $595,995

• University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., $597,806

• University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., $399,273

• Clarkson University, Potsdam, N.Y., $400,000

• Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, $399,961

• South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D. $599,966

• West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas, $113,724

• Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, $597,321

• Utah State University, Logan, Utah, $599,879