Agriculture is a substantial source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for about 10% of the U.S. total. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers are also directly affected by rising temperatures, more frequent and intense heat waves, drought, and other extreme weather that result in part from increased GHG emissions. Climate-smart agriculture is a set of approaches that aims to achieve three goals: producing more and better food, increasing agricultural systems’ resilience to drought and other climate-related impacts, and reducing net GHG emissions. Public agricultural research and development (R&D), and the innovation it supports, is key to advancing the goals of climate-smart agriculture. First, R&D drives increases in agricultural productivity and efficiency, thereby reducing land use, use of other inputs, and related GHG emissions. Second, the R&D of more drought-resilient crops, heat-tolerant animal breeds, and resource-efficient farming practices and technologies (e.g., precision irrigation systems) is critical to reducing farmers’ vulnerability to extreme weather and climate-related impacts. Third, the development and adoption of farming methods that reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint depend on such research and innovation. And even after development, many climate-smart farming practices and technologies, whether well-established or emerging, face barriers to widespread adoption that require further research to overcome. Despite being a critical mission, climate mitigation and adaptation is not a statutory priority of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and there is no interagency body that specifically collects and disseminates data on how this mission is being addressed.This report presents the first detailed and systematic analysis of funding from federal R&D agencies for agricultural climate mitigation. It includes analysis of tens of thousands of projects supported by the primary federal funders of agricultural research, including the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA–E). This report presents estimates for all funding from R&D programs administered by the above agencies. This includes funding for basic, applied, and developmental research as well as for education and extension activities that are part of research projects and programs. It excludes funding for programs dedicated to education and extension, such as Smith-Lever Act funding for agricultural extension, as well as conservation programs, such as the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program or Conservation Reserve Program. The federal R&D agencies and programs included in the analysis spent an estimated $241 million per year on agricultural climate mitigation from 2017 to 2021. This amount is roughly 35-fold less than that spent on U.S. clean energy innovation. Therefore, this report underscores the scale of climate mitigation potential represented by agricultural R&D. Our analysis also reveals how the distribution of R&D funding aligns with the sources of agricultural GHG emissions and the potential to mitigate those emissions, enabling us to identify key funding gaps. While the majority of funding has been directed to projects related to soil carbon sequestration, several notable emissions sources have received relatively little funding (Figure ES-1). For example, projects related to enteric fermentation (part of the digestive process of cattle and other ruminants) received less than 2% of mitigation funding that could be categorized, even though methane from enteric fermentation accounts for over 28% of agricultural emissions.
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Wood plastic composite (WPC) is a panel or lumber product made using recycled plastic and small wood fibers or particles. WPC manufacturing involves a two-step process. The first step is a combination of wood and thermoplastic such as polyethylene (LDPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density mixed dough-like consistency called compounding. The second step is mixing using a batch or continuous procedure. Additives such as plastic coupling agents, stabilizers, foaming agents or colors are added to the core ingredient, wood, with grain sizes ranging from 20 to 60 mesh to improve the finished product's qualities. WPCs offer various advantages, such as they can absorb water into the embedded wood fibers but do not corrode and are extremely resistant to rot, decay and marine borer attacks. In WFCs with a hydrophilic matrix, like PLA, water absorption is more pronounced and reduces mechanical stiffness and strength. An acetylation treatment can improve mechanical performance in a wet environment. WPCs can be formed with standard woodworking tools and have good workability. Furthermore, WPCs are frequently seen as sustainable because they can be created with waste from the wood industry and recovered plastics. WPCs have gained tremendous popularity in North America, especially outdoor deck floors. Still, it is also used for fences, landscaping timbers, park benches, railings, cladding and siding, molding and trim, prefab houses and door frames and indoor furniture. Wood Plastic Composite Market Growth: As per the research report by DataM Intelligence, the global wood plastic composite market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 12.5% from 2023-2029. Growing demand for recyclable materials in the construction and automotive industry escalates the market share for the product. Furthermore, the easy processing of wood plastic composite with the requirement of basic R&D services is expected to create growth prospects for the product in the forecast period.