WSU to Officially Open New $15M Plant Growth Facility
Washington State University (WSU) is officially dedicating its new $15 million plant growth facility at a ceremony being held October 17. The ceremony will also honor the three-way partnership between WSU, the Washington Grain Commission, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service (ARS).
After opening in late summer, the facility is home to the WSU and the USDA wheat breeding programs, and also offers additional greenhouse space for WSU to double the size of its haploid laboratory designed to accelerate the wheat breeding process. In addition, the facility includes an herbicide spray room to be used for applications within a controlled, research environment, and climate-controlled seed storage.
The facility was envisioned after the Washington Grain Commission asked the university what the single most limiting factor was to the advancement of wheat breeding, and the university stated that it was a lack of greenhouse space.
“This will allow those breeding programs to reduce the amount of time it takes from cross to getting varieties into the field and into growers’ hands,” said Rich Koenig, associate dean of the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, and director of WSU Extension.