Rep. Thompson, Sen. Casey Announce Nearly $1 Million Grant for Penn State University

Sep 11, 2015 Issues: Agriculture

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05) today joined U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in announcing the awarding of $999,972 in grant funding to the Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.  The grant was awarded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and is focused on reducing the amount of nutrient inputs to waterways through a diverse mix of cover crops.

“I am proud to join Sen. Casey in announcing this funding for Penn State,” Thompson said.  “Agriculture is the Commonwealth’s number one industry and extension activities through Penn State play a critical role in helping Pennsylvania’s farmers better predict how a particular crop will grow in different soil types and in the protection of our waterways.”

Specifically, the funding will be used to conduct experiments on cover crop tuning on one research station and seven farms across Pennsylvania and New York.  This grant focuses on planting a mix of cover crops, which are intended to help manage soil erosion, pests and soil quality.

“Mixing cover crops is a proven strategy to prevent nutrient pollution in Pennsylvania’s waterways including the Susquehanna and Allegheny River watersheds which cover a large portion of Pennsylvania,” Casey said.   “This funding will also focus on education for farmers, so they can put the results of this research to work across the Commonwealth.”

“While this is a growing area of agriculture research, most farms are only planting a single species of cover crop,” said Dr. Jason Kaye, associate professor of Soil Biogeochemistry at Penn State University.  “While this grant is focused on the use of cover crops on organic farms, what we learn can also eventually be applied to conventional farms across the state and nation.”