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Rapid Agricultural Response Fund

To find a new way to problem solve in the 21st century, in 1998 the Minnesota Legislature worked with the state's agricultural leaders to create resources to tackle emerging agrilcultural challanges. The result was the Rapid Agricultural Response Fund (RARF). Since that beginning it has helped develop research answers to some of the most puzzling and unpredictable problems facing our farmers.

Below you will find overviews of the most recent RARF projects including background information, project objectives, and progress updates when available.

Sunil Kumar Mor and his team are studying the evolution and genomic constellations of newly re-emerging, lameness-associated turkey arthritis reoviruses (TARV) with a view to develop highly sensitive and specific diagnostic assays and to develop and evaluate safe and effective vaccines.

Abby Neu and her team are evaluating the delivery pathways for educational materials, workshops, and assistance for poultry producers related to biosecurity. By exploring the reliability of existing communication strategies they hope to discover gaps in communications and, ultimately, find new communications solutions. 

Peter Larsen and his interdisciplinary team are working to develop a robust next-generation antemortem test for the rapid detection of Chronic wasting disease in biological samples secured from cervids (elk and white-tailed deer) using minimally invasive techniques. 

Dr. Ly and his partners are working to develop and test a new vaccine for Hemorrhagic enteritis virus. The new vaccine will be based on viral vaccine vector (Pichinde virus, PICV) a technology recently developed by their laboratory.

George Heimpel and his team are exploring alternatives to insecticides for the control of soybean aphid--most notably biological control via parasitoid wasps. In this project they investigate, two potential limiting factors in biological control of soybean aphid – overwintering mortality and hyperparasitism with the aim of conducting experiments to reduce overwintering mortality.

William Hutchison and his team are working on developing integrated pest management systems to assist with the control of japanese beetles in the specialty crop industry. 

Anup Johny has gathered an integrated, multi-college/department team to determine the efficacy of the combination of the dairy-originated probiotic, an industry vaccine, and two essential oils, against three emerging Salmonella serovars with potential to cause foodborne outbreaks, using applied microbiology, microbiome analysis, immunology, and genomics approaches.

Jennifer Kimball and her year are evaluating five different modes of action for riceworm management at two grower locations (Gonvick, MN and Aitken, MN) during the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons. Due to the unique challenges of working in an aquatic agricultural production system, they are also planning to evaluate the feasibility of applying insecticides in the research program via drone.

Robert Koch and his team are working to identify the biological mechanisms that confer pyrethroid resistance in the soybean aphid, elucidate the statewide prevalence of resistance in soybean aphid, and gather data from growers to support the development of innovative strategies to improve management of this pest.

Sagar Goyal and his team are working to develop new diagnostic strategies for Porcine circovirus type 3. The virus, which was first discovered in the U.S. in 2016 and has sense spread to multiple countries, is associated with systemic vasculitis/myocarditis, porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome and reproductive disorders.