USDA expands grains research facilities

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cereal

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) last week inaugurated a new
$5m addition to its grains research facility in Idaho, where it
plans to breed superior potatoes and grains such as wheat, oats and

The extension to the National Small Grains Germplasm Research Facility will be the ground for future experiments by scientists at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the University of Idaho.

The newly completed 12,000-square-foot addition, called the Advanced Genetics Laboratory, is located within a University of Idaho research complex. It was designed along the same lines as the main laboratory, which was built in 1987.

"In addition to breeding superior, grain-bearing plants and collaborating with university researchers to develop top-quality potatoes, the ARS scientists at this lab manage a world-renowned collection of wheat, rice, oat, barley, rye, triticale and other small-grain crops from around the world,"​ said USDA deputy under secretary for research, education and economics Merle Pierson.

"Rare and wild relatives of these species also are safeguarded in the collection. That's so the genetic diversity, or genepool, of the plants won't be lost to urban encroachment or natural disasters, such as attacks by insects or diseases."

ARS scientists at the Aberdeen laboratory were the co-developers of Ranger Russet, now the second most widely planted potato in Idaho, the nation's leading potato-producing state.

They also developed America's first livestock-feed barley that helps reduce phosphorus pollution of creeks, rivers and other waterways.

The Aberdeen laboratory is also headquarters for research on new, small-grain-based feeds for farm-raised rainbow trout.

Thursday's inauguration included speeches from Senator Michael Crapo, Idaho Governor James Risch and Aberdeen Mayor Morgan Anderson.

Related topics Suppliers

Related news

Follow us


View more