Scientific selection and improvement of underutilized perennial plants for the production of food, timber, and energy and the preservation and enhancement of soil for the benefit of all.
Goals and Objectives
The research goals and objectives of Improvement of Perennial Plants for Food and Bioenergy, Inc., (IPPFBE) are:
- Inform scientists, decision makers, and the public about the immediate needs and opportunities to develop economical, sustainable, and highly productive programs to produce food and bioenergy, combat global warming, equalize wealth distribution, and preserve soil and water resources. An achievable doubling of world biomass production stressing genetically improved trees and other perennial food, fiber, and bioenergy crops could accomplish these goals while enhancing our environment, providing meaningful employment for millions, and enabling long-term worldwide prosperity. Perennial food and bioenergy crops can be grown on land not suitable for the production of cultivated annual crops eliminating concerns of many that bioenergy production would reduce world food supply. Perennial crops build, enhance, and preserve soil fertility, organic matter, and productivity. They reduce leaching of nitrogen fertilizers into ground water, streams, lakes, and oceans; require fewer or no pesticides; recharge moisture into the atmosphere often increasing precipitation in dryer climates; and can often be more productive. One pound of most nutmeats contains as much food value as seven pounds of beef (live weight). The unpaid members of the board of directors can pursue this objective at a very limited cost to the corporation.
- Develop productive, nutritious nut trees well adapted to the harsh climates of the Intermountain Western USA. Promising species include black and Persian (English) walnuts, hybrids of American, European and Asian hazelnuts, hybrids of pecans and hickories, oaks producing tasty tannin-free acorns, pistachios, almonds, apricots with sweet nuts, and many species of nut pines.
- Demonstrate the effectiveness of long-term population improvement in the progressive improvement of newly domesticated and introduced species. Illustrate this progress with the development and release of successively superior cultivars and breeding composites. Our experiences with developing superior, profitable turfgrass varieties have encouraged the development of many additional breeding programs throughout the world. Additional successes in the genetic improvement of numerous species of underutilized perennial food and bioenergy crops should lead to the initiation and expansion of many plant breeding programs by public institutions, foundations, and private industry.
The feasibility of the above programs will be investigated with a review of world literature and practice, long-term population improvement programs, and the development and release of improved varieties and advanced plant improvement strategies.