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Scientific Discoveries highlights the national and international impact of the Agricultural Research Service's research on agriculture from the farmer's field to the consumer's table.

The featured accomplishments on this site showcase ground-breaking scientists finding innovative solutions to our planet’s biggest challenges. To get started, choose one of ARS's four National Program Areas (in Nutrition, Food Safety/Quality, Animal Production and Protection, Crop Production and Protection, and Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems) or explore our five research regions and take a look across the country to see what ARS scientists are doing to enrich our lives.

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Dr. Simon Liu


Welcome to Scientific Discoveries 2023. I am proud and excited to share some of our most impactful research — technological advances and groundbreaking science that touch everyone, whether you are a farmer, rancher, supplier, or consumer. Our research delivers innovative solutions to agriculture’s greatest challenges. The stories you will read here are truly remarkable.

For example, we are using the power of sound to improve biogas production while also helping the environment. We found that a popular lawn grass also provides food for our important pollinators. We are studying deadly diseases like Japanese encephalitis virus and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. And we discovered a simple method for detecting the metal mercury in food.

You will also want to read about how we are protecting cattle from ticks that spread deadly diseases. In this edition of Scientific Discoveries, we unveil new varieties of wheat, cotton, and peas that may soon show up in your local market. We also had a breakthrough in our fight against one of U.S. agriculture’s greatest enemies, the spotted wing drosophila. Find out how inside.

I hope you take a few minutes to browse our ARS Awards section, where we feature some of our esteemed researchers who have achieved high honors in agricultural science. This section is just a snapshot of the accolades we received this past year, and it underscores our role as the world leader in innovative agricultural research. I want to thank our scientists, post-docs, and support staff for their tireless dedication in providing the United States and the world with scientific excellence in agriculture. From farm to table, our research makes a difference in the life of every family.

Simon Liu
Administrator, Agricultural Research Service