Publications

Please browse our publications, listed in order of publish date (newest to oldest). If you would like to narrow the list by publication types, please click one of the menus on the left.

 

CAST Commentaries - QTA2019-1 - March 2019

The purpose of this commentary is to document need for and anticipated benefits of developing data-sharing standards, incentivizing researchers to share data, and building a data-sharing infrastructure within agricultural research. The authors present the factors contributing to the current system of agricultural research that has fostered ambivalence toward data sharing; briefly review the success of data-sharing examples from other domains that offer promise for advancing agricultural research; and describe the advantages and shortcomings of emerging data-sharing platforms, networks, and repositories intended to facilitate data sharing in agriculture. Although they focus on accessing and using the full wealth of data generated by research, the authors realize impact from this effort also requires research in food production to de-emphasize smaller-scale, individual-effort studies and pursue larger efforts integrating social, economic, and environmental components. Thus, the ultimate goal is to advance the conversation among agricultural science partners to create a system conducive to data sharing and the team science that are needed to address the complex, “grand-challenge” questions in food systems. The authors highlight key strategies, roles, and responsibilities of partners in agriculture’s science and data enterprise, and they discuss the business case for data sharing as well as ingredients essential to data preservation and curation. Chair: Sylvie Brouder, Purdue University. QTA2019-1, 20 pp., March 2019, AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY.

 
 
Ag quickCASTs - QTA2019-1 QC - March 2019

This one-page Ag quickCAST contains excerpted material from its companion CAST document, Enabling Open-source Data Networks in Public Agricultural Research. AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY.

 
 
Issue Papers - IP63 - February 2019

Groundwater is the Earth’s most extracted raw material, with almost 1,000 cubic kilometers per year (800 million acre-feet per year) of groundwater pumped from aquifers around the world. Approximately 70% of groundwater withdrawals worldwide are used to support agricultural production systems. This percentage is even higher in arid and semi-arid areas, where the only consistent source of irrigation water is groundwater. In these regions, however, the use of groundwater typically far exceeds the rate at which it is naturally replenished, indicating that these critical groundwater resources are being slowly depleted. Within the United States, groundwater depletion has occurred in many important agricultural production regions, including the Great Plains Region, the Central Valley of California, the Mississippi Embayment Aquifer, aquifers in southern Arizona, and smaller aquifers in many western states. This issue paper reviews the causes and consequences of groundwater depletion, with a focus on impacts to agriculture as the largest sector of groundwater use. This understanding can aid in developing effective policies and practices for groundwater development, use, and management. Chair: John Tracy, Texas A&M University. IP63, February 2019, 20 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).


 

 
 
Ag quickCASTs - QC-63 - February 2019

This one-page Ag quickCAST contains excerpted material from its companion CAST document, Aquifer Depletion and Potential Impacts on Long-term Irrigated Agricultural Productivity.

 
 
Issue Papers - IP62 - September 2018

Food Loss and Waste is a paper in the series on The Need for Agricultural Innovation to Sustainably Feed the World by 2050. Reducing food loss and waste (FLW) is one of the key strategies to combat hunger and sustainably feed the world. This paper provides a critical overview of U.S. FLW through an objective, balanced, and data-driven approach. There are four sections. First, the magnitude of the problem is described using four major data sources at the national level and the different scope and boundaries of these data are compared; there follows a discussion of the three fundamental resources for primary food production—land, water, and fertilizer—that are embedded in the lost and wasted food, plus other resource costs. Second, the authors discuss why FLW occurs, drawing attention to the many issues of the FLW problem at the consumer end—food-wasting behavior, the “whys,” and the interacting influence of psychological, social, cultural, and economic factors; they also describe major actions that are being taken across the nation to decrease FLW. Third, a hard look at existing data on the quantity of food waste prevention, recovery, and recycling is taken by compiling all major sources of data that could be located, providing a “reality check” on how well the country is performing on lessening FLW. Finally, the authors present an interpretative and critical analysis concerning three key issues: How can the United States work toward the 50% reduction goal by 2030 knowingly and confidently? What technological innovations may be game changers? What other approaches could be explored to influence consumer food behavior for the better? Chair: Zhengxia Dou, Clinical Studies/NBC, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. IP62, September 2018, 20 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).


 
 
Ag quickCASTs - QC-62 - September 2018

This one-page Ag quickCAST contains excerpted material from its companion CAST document, Food Loss and Waste.

 
 
Issue Papers - IP61 - July 2018

This publication serves to review what is known about poultry egg and meat production with specific attention to available research on free-range production systems. Stressors related to alternatively housed and managed birds, as well as the known advantages and disadvantages for farmers, are reviewed. Food quality and food safety in regard to poultry meat and eggs are often understood by farmers and consumers as one and the same. Clarification of food quality and food safety with regard to poultry production systems will be discussed. The role of farming systems in disease control is included in this discussion. Attention to the environmental system, soil contamination, and manure burdens placed on the land by free-range poultry is also considered. This consolidation of information is aimed at helping further the discussion of free-range poultry as it pertains to larger farming systems and the future of this growing field of niche market poultry production. Cochairs: Jacquie Jacob and Tony Pescatore, University of Kentucky. IP61, July 2018, 20 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).

 
 
Ag quickCASTs - 61-QC - July 2018

This one-page Ag quickCAST contains excerpted material from its companion CAST document, Impact of Free-Range Poultry Production Systems on Animal Health, Human Health, Productivity, Environment, Food Safety, and Animal Welfare Issues.

 
 
Issue Papers - IP60 - July 2018

Genome Editing in Agriculture: Methods, Applications, and Governance is a paper in the series on The Need for Agricultural Innovation to Sustainably Feed the World by 2050. Genome editing is a powerful new method that enables unprecedented control over genetic material and offers the opportunity to make rapid advances in basic and applied biology. This issue paper describes how genome editing is performed, the types of “edits” that can be made, how the process relates to traditional breeding and conventional genetic engineering, and the potential limitations of the approach. The paper also presents an overview of the current landscape of governance of genome editing, including existing regulations, international agreements, and standards and codes of conduct, as well as a discussion of factors that affect governance, including comparison with other approaches to genetic modification, environmental and animal welfare impacts of specific applications, values of producers and consumers, and economic impacts, among others. Chair: Adam J. Bogdanove, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. IP60, July 2018, 24 pp. FREE. Available online and in print (fee for shipping/handling).

 
 
Ag quickCASTs - 60-QC - July 2018

This one-page Ag quickCAST contains excerpted material from its companion CAST document, Genome Editing in Agriculture: Methods, Applications, and Governance.