One of the long term goals of our research team (including agronomist - Dennis Shannon) is to identify medicinally active plants that can be alternative cash crops for Alabama farmers. We are investigating the effects of culture conditions on the production of plant mass and medical compounds by medical plants to determine the optimum culture conditions. The primary medicinal plants that we are studying include American skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), Astragalus, turmeric, milk weed extract (silymarin) and using high performance liquid chromatography to measure the medicinal compounds.
Another long term goal of our team is to identify medicinal plant(s) that can consistently treat selected food animal and companion animal diseases with high efficacy and low adverse effects. We are currently seeking funding to identify herbs to treat chicken coccidial infection in a sustainable method that eliminates need for pharmaceutical coccidiostats. Organic farming, and in particular organic food producing animals, is the fastest growing aspect of agricultural development.