Sandia Labs project aims to improve farmers’ crops

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Sandia National Laboratories is getting $2.4 million to help identify crops that are more environmentally friendly.

The project funded by the Department of Energy and by ROOTS, or Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration, seeks to find crops that use less water, reduce need for nitrogen fertilizer, trap carbon deep in the soil and improve soil quality.

U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced the project on Wednesday.

Heinrich said in a news release that the project could help farmers who deal with challenges of climate change such as drought. Udall says the project will help New Mexico farmers develop crops that are stronger in drought conditions and more environmentally friendly.

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