NC-213 scientists continue to investigate and address grain quality issues including alternative technologies and practices to protect grain from insect and fungal pests, among others. This multi-state project provides an opportunity for team members and industry stakeholders to interact and collaborate on addressing specific engineering, scientific, and economic issues associated with project objectives. <P>
Because of the industry endowment (via The Andersons, Inc. that led to its formation, NC-213 has always had a very strong industry influence. Since 2000 there has been an industry advisory board consisting of five elected representatives with its chair serving on the NC-213 executive committee. These industry representatives discussed trends currently influencing the U.S. and global grain industries, and outlined research needs that NC-213 should address in its next 5-year project cycle. <P>The emerging biofuels industry was the primary focus of the roundtable. The industry panel shared that the ethanol and biodiesel industry will have a significant impact on the future of the grain industry. The consensus of the panel was that a principal challenge will be maintaining grain quality into the following summer months, which has not happened on a large scale in the U.S. since the 1980s. This will require new practices and technologies for monitoring and maintaining quality, new measurement systems to quantify quality attributes, and development of alternative economic models. <P>After development of alternative systems, evaluating the efficacy of these new practices, technologies and models to support this growing industry while simultaneously maintaining high quality grain stocks for other food, feed and industrial uses needs to be performed. <P>This project focuses on raw grain supply to and coproducts manufactured by the grain and biorefinery processing industries. Delivering low-cost, food-safe, bio-secure, and high quality cereals and oilseeds for food, feed, fuel, and industrial uses requires a systems approach. <P>Therefore, the NC-213 objectives focus on three interrelated goals: <OL> <LI> To characterize quality attributes and develop systems to measure quality of cereals, oilseeds, and bioprocess coproducts, <LI> To develop methods to maintain quality, capture value, and preserve food safety at key points in the harvest to end product value chain,<LI> To quantify and disseminate the impact of market-chain technologies on providing high value, food-safe, and bio-secure grains for global markets and bioprocess industries. </OL> NC-213 will continue to have a significant impact on improving the efficiency of the U.S. grain industry and capturing value along the cereals, oilseeds and coproducts supply chains. Therefore, NC-213 will address quality issues for food, feed, fuels, coproducts, and the emerging bioproducts industries. NC-213 will continue to have strong ties with industry. This multi-state project will use industry input and collaboration to ensure relevance and to aid in developing initiatives that can obtain extramural funding.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: To address the need for increased grain storage capacity and higher quality foodstuffs, a multistate partnership focuses on three main objectives. Of these, preservation of grain quality during storage includes the management and control of insect pests, which causes worlwide annual losses in teh billions of dollars. Continuing research on new methods and technologies for managing insect pests of stored grain on-farm and in transit will involve experimentation developing new insecticidal technology and non-insecticidal approaches in the laboratory experiments and in larger scale trials in the field. Outreach via classical and on-line Extension will be a key part of the success of this effort, as will the delivery of new scientific knowledge to the general scientific commiunity.
APPROACH: Objective 2 - To develop methods to maintain quality, capture value, and preserve food safety at key points in the harvest to end product value chain. Systems to maintain quality and preserve food safety are being jointly developed by numerous stations. Investigate alternative, stored product protection technologies for conventional and organic grains and their products. Investigations will include development of improved pest detection and management systems to protect bulk grains stord on-farm and in commercial elevator facilities. NC-213 scientists perform a number of outreach activities to aid in the implementation of successful research programs. Grain storage/management related materials are being organized into a multi-level training program. These materials will be delivered onsite by Extension specialists, and will become podcasts and web module(s). Assess the cost of traceability on competitiveness of US grains in global markets. NC213 participants develop a national strategy for preservation, food safety and biosecurity of the US grain production and market chain, with regionally or end use adapted methodologies. The primary focus of entomological research will be to ensure grain storage losses will be reduced with a reduced reliance on chemical intervention at a lower cost than conventional chemical methods. Development of on-farm storage parctices and new management technology are critical.