The U.S. Department of Agriculture and North Carolina State University (NC State) are building a new plant research facility to “address some of the agricultural challenges impacting farmers and consumers nationwide”. Once completed, the state-of-the-art facility will house approximately 30-40 experts from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) and NC State who will conduct research on maize, soybeans, wheat, cotton and peanuts. This is the second plant research facility to be announced in recent months. The construction of a new Plant Sciences Building is also planned at Washington State University with the goal of improving the health, sustainability, and profitability of dryland and irrigated agriculture in the Pacific Northwest, including wheat and grain legumes.

These two new facilities underscore USDA’s commitment to “robust and innovative agricultural research”, which Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says is “a requisite to confronting many of the challenges we are facing, from feeding a growing world population and improving farming practices to tackling the effects of a changing climate.”