Diverse Field Crops Cluster Releases Snapshots of their Research Activities
The Diverse Field Crops Cluster (DFCC) is an agri-science cluster supporting the research and development of high-potential crops. The special crops they have in their sights include camelina, canary seed, flax, hemp, mustard, quinoa, and sunflower. DFCC specifically wants to focus on variety development and value-added initiatives to enhance the agricultural field.
DFCC is managed by Ag-West Bio, who is happy to align the industry and researchers on these new opportunities. Diversifying the cropping mix is beneficial to extending rotations, breaking disease and pest cycles, and protects producers from a volatile commodity cycle.
Through R&D, DFCC is hoping to expand the varieties and explore their possible applications further. The research being conducted includes enhancing the production methods of these plants, but their applications go further than our table. Camelina is being studied as an oil supplement for companion animals, including dogs and horses. Mustard seeds contain mucilage, which is currently in studies for use in gluten-free and egg-free food products. Hemp is being evaluated for its affinity to cadmium – a metal which increases in abundance as soil is treated with fertilizer. The growth of a wider variety of readily available crops opens up the R&D doors to even more fields and innovations. For more information on their research activities in each crop, take a look at their snapshots.