NCSU AMPLIFY: Agrosphere Modeling for Producing Large Increases in Food Yield (AMPLIFY) is a strategic public-private research platform designed to advance innovation and sustainable methods to increase crop yields. Research teams are multidisciplinary, dynamic and project specific.  AMPLIFY draws on the intellectual capital of NC State University and partners to assemble the expertise and technology necessary to address complex issues in agriculture.  Current AMPLIFY team members are members in three colleges and nine departments including: the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ (CALS) Departments of Plant Pathology, Plant & Microbial Biology, Soil Sciences, Molecular & Structural Biochemistry, Crop Science, Biological & Agriculture Engineering, and Agriculture & Extension Education; the College of Sciences’ Department of Statistics; and the College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. The AMPLIFY platform provides an infrastructure for cross-cutting research which brings together a critical mass of expertise from academia, industry, and the public sector to dramatically increase crop yields while keeping natural resource conservation and environmental impact top priorities.

AMPLIFY research projects focus on fundamental science related to yield, drought stress, carbon flux and water use efficiency; development of enabling technologies related to predictive modeling and risk management; understanding environmental effects on agronomic traits; and response of ecosystems to climate change. (Focal areas can change or be added over time as scientific advances dictate.) Research in basic science, engineering and other disciplines will be performed primarily at our advanced facilities on the NC State campus. Knowledge and insights gleaned from these studies will fuel applied research at AMPLIFY’s technology-rich flagship research/learning/demonstration site in Kinston, NC, and across NC State’s robust network of 18 research stations throughout the state. These diverse sites provide opportunities to test soil and climate conditions that simulate regions throughout the world. This research capability, in tandem with established relationships with a network of growers, makes NC State uniquely qualified to offer carefully controlled or commercial-scale production environments that range from irrigated deep sands to sub-irrigated organic soils.

AMPLIFY builds on the strengths of North Carolina State Unversity, a premier land grant university at the forefront of the charge to sustain and secure North Carolina’s and America’s leadership and competitiveness in the agriculture and life sciences sector. Faculty in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences with expertise in predictive modeling, integrative agronomics, data management and analytics, risk management, biodiversity ecosystem services, trait discovery and dissection, and plant breeding will partner with other scientists within NC State University, other public and private institutions, and industry partner organizations to build predictive agricultural models that utilize large datasets to successfully drive agricultural decision-making to the field level, create value for farmers and help the seed industry develop new traits and germplasm more rapidly.

AMPLIFY was conceived to address the grand challenges facing agriculture.  No arena of economic activity so directly addresses human survival and quality of life, global economic development, and prospects for an environmentally sustainable future as agriculture. As our world’s population grows – by 2050, the current population of nearly seven billion is expected to exceed nine billion – demands on our food supply are expected to double, requiring a 70% increase in farm production (source: UN FAO). Our current food system struggles to feed today’s population, let alone tomorrow’s. Add concerns about climate change; diminishing land and water for agriculture; environmental impacts of agricultural practices; income disparities, overconsumption, malnourishment, mounting food prices and competing demands for energy – and it is clear that, to meet these grand challenges, we must chart a new path.    The AMPLIFY platform provides the scientific competence, research capability, agility and adaptability, and combined intellectual capacity of academia, industry, government, and stakeholders to address these grand challenges.