BioWRAP

Mehraj Dar

Mehraj Dar

He/Him

BioWRAP Team

Meet Mehraj Dar

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Institution: Kansas State UniversityDepartment: Carl and Melinda Department of Biological and Agricultural EngineeringEmail: [email protected]

My home is in Srinagar, the middle of the beautiful state of Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. In 2016 and 2021 respectively, I received my Master’s and Ph.D. in Soil and Water Engineering from Punjab Agricultural University, which is the leading university in agriculture sciences in India.  My expertise is in climate-based research, hydrological modeling, crop modeling, subsurface drainage, wastewater treatment, and have a good hold on soil and plant nutrient analysis; After receiving my doctorate, I worked as an instructor in Soil and Water Engineering and was fortunate to share my passion with agriculture students at Punjabi University, Patiala, India.  As a postdoc at Kansas State University, I look forward to sustainable environmental research and diving deep into finding innovative and sustainable approaches to safeguard our environment through the BioWRAP project. Outside of academic interests, my time is spent listening to Indian Bollywood music, as I am a Bollywood movie buff! I follow world and Indian politics, I like to travel, meet different people, play badminton, and love to cook biryani (rice dish with meat and vegetables) with the famous, and aromatic Indian spices.

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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand there are many questions you may have in regards to BioWRAP. Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions that we receive.

The long-term goal is to create a locally-sourced, customizable, spray-on biopolymer-based films to serve as soil cover that can be synchronized to crop growth cycles under differing climatic conditions and applied using precision agricultural equipment. The system would also support socioeconomic resiliency, positive bioeconomic cycles, biotechnology adoption, sustainable crop production, and soil health in EPSCoR states.

Transforming biopolymers into a local material will equitably distribute the costs and benefits of biotechnology adoption by crop producers and support rural workforce development. Creating a protective, but permeable spray-on biopolymer cover will provide physical weed suppression, enable crop producers to reduce herbicide use, protect soil ecosystem diversity, effectively manage field edges, help conserve natural resources, buffer waterways from agrochemical runoff, enhance land productivity, and increase crop production resiliency.

We hypothesize that adoption of BioWRAP technology will vary by region and producer characteristics, climate conditions, soil type, and underlying preferences will lead to differential adoption across regions and cropping systems. Our team plans to assess the potential market for BioWRAP using structured group discussions in locations where producers and purchasers/retailers to gain the most accurate assessment of the market potential of biodegradable biofilm technology.

Initial testing will include corn and soybeans. Application of the product may include autonomous spray platforms as well as field scale commercial sprayers.

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