"The work of USDA scientists and the private research we fund improves the lives of all Americans," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "From permanent press cotton clothing, mass production of penicillin, frozen orange juice to the most effective and widely-used mosquito repellents, our scientists and research partners have changed the world and every year their work leads to new advances. Studies show that every dollar invested in agricultural research returns $20 to our economy. Given that track record, we're aggressively working to speed the development and transfer of new technologies to the marketplace."
Highlights from the 2015 report include:
- A bio-refinery that turned a city landfill into an "energy park"
- Computer chips made from wood fiber
- Mosquito-resistant uniforms for U.S. military personnel
- A new biological control agent to combat a major citrus disease
- An on-line climate and weather tool to better manage farm pests and plant diseases
- Cost-effective solar-powered irrigation pumps for remote communities
- Flu eradication through genome editing in pigs
- Bacteria repellant cooking pan surfaces
- Robotic apple pickers
- Affordable tornado-safe rooms
- Virus-based fire ant control
USDA's technology transfer program is administered by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.
Since 2009, USDA has invested $19 billion in research both intramural and extramural. During that time, research conducted by USDA scientists has resulted in 883 patent applications filed, 405 patents issued and 1,151 new inventions disclosures covering a wide range of topics and discoveries. To learn more about how USDA supports cutting edge science and innovation, visit the USDA Medium chapter Food and Ag Science Will Shape Our Future.