Agriculture Unleashed 320 New Inventions in 2018

Steve Hiebert/

The agency detailed them all in its annual Technology Transfer Report.

The Agriculture Department’s scientists and researchers produced more than 300 new inventions in fiscal year 2018, according to a Technology Transfer Report the agency released Friday. 

“Long before anyone ever coined the modern-day phrase of ‘technology transfer,’ it was part of the culture at USDA to deliver solutions to the people of America,” Secretary Sonny Perdue said regarding the release. “Today, USDA is still helping to drive technological innovation–both on the farm and off.”

This year’s report reveals the agency’s laboratories unveiled 320 new inventions, 471 licenses, 120 patent applications and 67 patents over the course of the last fiscal year. 

The agency nearly doubled its inventions since fiscal 2017, when it reported 166 new inventions for the year. 

The department also highlighted some of its most cost-effective and impactful accomplishments, including a treatment for peanut allergies, a bio-based insect repellent derived from coconut oil to avert blood-sucking insects that cost the cattle industry more than $2 billion each year, as well as their work using a gene-editing tool to engineer an African swine fever vaccine. 

The agency also discovered a new hormone—asprosin—which could lead to the prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes as it controls individuals’ desire to eat. 

“Studies show that every dollar invested in agricultural research returns $20 to our economy,” Perdue said. 

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