Increasing the Sustainability of Crop Production Systems Through Research & Application of Plant Biologicals

The Issue

Plant biologicals — products derived from living organisms — support integrated crop management to make plants more resilient to biotic and abiotic stresses. Plant biologicals offer the potential to increase the sustainability of crop production through the use of biofertilizers, biostimulants, biological control agents, and plant inducers.

What We Are Doing

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute brings together experts from academia, government, non-governmental organizations, industry, and other stakeholder groups to identify future needs and opportunities for plant biologicals in agriculture and food systems. Our expertise in environmental risk assessment is well applied to help the sector address regulatory considerations for next generation plant biologicals.

Why It’s Important

Plant biologicals can promote plant growth, enhance resistance to pests and disease, and enhance resilience to abiotic stresses, such as increasing water and nitrogen use efficiency. The great value of plant biologicals is that they can be used in both organic and conventional agriculture, providing a suite of options for farmers across the world.

Program Staff

Rachel Melnick, Ph.D.
Rachel contributes to the development and implementation of AFSI’s current and future applied research and capacity building programs. She is responsible for developing strategies and budgets for these projects, identifying associated personnel requirements, and is accountable for ensuring the program/project meets its stated objectives. She also serves as liaison between AFSI management and staff, implementing partners, and other applicable parties.



Climate Indicators for Agriculture
USDA Technical Bulletin | July 29, 2020

This report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture focuses on how agricultural systems are impacted by climate change and offers a list of 20 indicators that provide a broad look at what is happening across the country.

Search Resources

Biosafety Capacity Building
Environmental Risk Assessment
Sustainable Nutrition Security
Food and Feed Safety Assessment
Plant Biologicals for Sustainable Agriculture