Expert Reports

These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review.

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Spurring Innovation in Food and Agriculture: A Review of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Program (2014)

With its mission to fund research to tackle the most important challenges facing agriculture and food production -- from climate change to population growth -- the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program plays a critical role in the U.S. research and development portfolio. This report examines the quality and value of research funded by the AFRI program, the prospects of the program's success in achieving established goal... More >>

Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward (2013)

This report reviews the science that underpins the Bureau of Land Management's oversight of free-ranging horses and burros on federal public lands in the western United States, concluding that constructive changes could be implemented. The Wild Horse and Burro Program has not used scientifically rigorous methods to estimate the population sizes of horses and burros, to model the effects of management actions on the animals, or to assess th... More >>

Report in Brief

Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels in the United States (2012)

Biofuels made from algae are gaining attention as a domestic source of renewable fuel. However, with current technologies, scaling up production of algal biofuels to meet even 5 percent of U.S. transportation fuel needs could create unsustainable demands for energy, water, and nutrient resources. Continued research and development could yield innovations to address these challenges, but determining if algal biofuel is a viable fuel alternativ... More >>

Report in Brief

Meeting Critical Laboratory Needs for Animal Agriculture: Examination of Three Options (2012)

Outbreaks of animal disease can have catastrophic repercussions for animal agriculture, the food supply, and public health. Rapid detection, diagnosis and response, as well as development of new vaccines, are central to mitigating the impact of disease outbreaks. The proposed National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) is a next-generation laboratory for animal disease diagnostics, training, and research that would provide core critica... More >>

Report in Brief

Nutrient Requirements of Swine: Eleventh Revised Edition (2012)

The latest in a series of National Research Council reports provides updated advice on the energy and nutrient requirements of swine to help maintain an efficient, profitable, and environmentally conscious swine industry. Since 1944, there have been 10 editions of the Nutrient Requirements of Swine, a publication that has guided nutritionists and other professionals in developing and implementing feeding programs for swine. However, since th... More >>