USDA ARS has proposed in their 2015 budget to spend $1.1 billion of which 36 percent will be directed toward crop research, 18 percent to food safety and nutrition, 18 percent to environmental stewardship, 16 percent to livestock, 8 percent to product quality/value added, and 4 percent to other. Major focuses will include climate change, genetic improvement and translational breeding, livestock production, feed safety, and livestock protection.
- Food Safety ($110 million requested)—The goal is to yield science-based knowledge on the safe production, storage, processing, and handling of plant and animal products, and on the detection and control of toxin-producing and/or pathogenic bacteria, fungi, parasites, chemical contaminants, and plant toxins.
- Livestock Protection ($87 million requested)—Goal of the animal health program is to protect and ensure safety of the U.S. food supply through improved disease detection, prevention, control, and treatment.
- Livestock Production ($83 million requested)—Goal is to (1) safeguard and utilize animal genetic resources, associated genetic and genomic databases, and bioinformatic tools; (2) develop a basic understanding of the physiology of livestock and poultry; and (3) develop information, tools, and technologies that can be used to improve animal production systems. The research will be heavily focused on development and application of genomic technologies to increase the efficiency and product quality of beef, dairy, swine, poultry, aquaculture, and sheep systems.
- Climate change ($44 million requested)—Goal is to better understand the effects of climate change and develop adaptive strategies and technologies to address its impacts.
- Genetic Improvement and Translational Breeding ($25.9 million requested)—Goal is to strengthen U.S. agricultural productivity and resilience by developing new breeds, lines, and strains with better
climate adaptation, drought tolerance, disease resistance, nutritional value, enhanced production efficiencies, and reduced environmental impacts. Translational breeding will be advanced through application of genomic knowledge to breeding programs (classical and genomic-enabled), expansion of access to genetic resources, knowledge, and tools.