The General Assembly included $2.5 million in the state budget this year so the NCDA&CS Research Stations Division can modernize equipment. Commissioner Troxler says this investment is important for the future of agriculture in the state.
Some of the stations have gone way too long without replacing tractors and other equipment. By modernizing the equipment and using precision-agriculture technology, researchers and station staff can be much more efficient in using resources such as seed, land and fertilizer.
This effort should lead to more precision in agricultural research and greater versatility in the equipment. The stations won’t need as many pieces to do the same amount of work. In many cases, the division is trading in two or more tractors for one. The department also will be able to reduce equipment maintenance costs significantly.
The department is working with multiple dealers and manufacturers, and most of the equipment should be on hand by spring.
North Carolina’s research stations system is a partnership between the department, N.C. State University and N.C. A&T State University. It’s a partnership that has benefited the state for 75 years. The work of scientists on these stations has led to many advances in agricultural technology and production practices.
There’s a lot of focus on agricultural research because the world’s population is projected to be more than 9 billion by 2050, and this growth will increase the demand for food by as much as 100 percent. Research will become even more important for helping to meet the demand. Commissioner Troxler says 2050 may seem like a long time away, but it’s only 37 more cropping seasons.
Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss research stations and why the Commissioner is appreciative of the General Assembly’s decision to invest in new equipment.
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