Vaishali Sharda

Vaishali Sharda


BioWRAP Team

Meet Vaishali Sharda

Assistant Professor

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

Broadly, my research explores climate prediction and the impacts of climate variability and change on water resources and agriculture. I am particularly interested in the following areas: (1) Future water availability for irrigation and its potential effects on crop yields, (2) Sustainability and resilience of our water resources under a changing environment; (3) implications of climate change for the Midwestern United States; (4) Development of high-resolution, application-specific remotely sensed and observed datasets to inform integrated agro-hydrologic models; and (5) Providing decision support to producers to make informed management choices. To work in these areas, in our research group, we use several hydrologic and crop models including SWAT, SWAT-MODFLOW, DSSAT, RZWQM along with historic, current, and future climate and other environmental datasets at various spatial and temporal scales.

Outside of academia, I love spending my time in my kitchen cooking and whipping up new recipes. I have a food blog that I use to journal my recipes and life stories. I teach cooking classes at UFM in Manhattan and love sharing my culture with the local community through food. I also spend my time traveling with my family (husband Ajay, daughter Anvesha, and son Vihaan) trying to find the greatest food and sights everywhere we go and working in my summer garden. Back


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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