By: SDSU Extension iGrow

The South Dakota State University Plant Science Research Support Facility grand opening will be Aug. 31.

The program and ribbon cutting will begin at 2 p.m. at the site west of the motor pool near 1601 Stadium Road in Brookings.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard is scheduled to speak at the event as well as South Dakota State University President Barry Dunn.

Due to an expansion in the Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department at South Dakota State University, SDSU officials recognized a significant need for more modern seed processing and storage facilities. Keeping the vision of SDSU President Barry Dunn in mind, this facility will allow for an increase in research and hands-on learning opportunities for students at South Dakota State University.

“This building provides modern space for our wheat, oat and forage breeders, to enhance their ability to release competitive varieties, targeted for South Dakota farmers,” said Dr. David Wright, head of the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science.

“SDSU wheat and oat varieties are grown and tested globally,” he added. “Those programs access new germplasm from around the world and this germplasm is used to strengthen the agronomic and yield performance that producers enjoy.”

Wright said the original seed house was built in 1947. The design of the new building encompasses modern work and office space, keeping employee safety top of mind. It provides much-needed expanded space for plant breeding research, which coupled with current research labs, will allow the release of novel crop varieties for production in the region.

The 17,000 square-foot facility includes refrigerated units for long-term storage of germplasm and pure seed stock; project workrooms for processing, handling, sorting, and storage of seed stock to be used for research projects; grinding areas for separation of the seed from chaff; drying rooms, and a drive-through unloading alley which can accommodate small combines unloading grain and research material in a secure environment.

The SDSU Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department is a multidisciplinary department with the size and breadth to address today’s complex teaching, research and outreach needs in agriculture and horticulture. The department offers educational opportunities through bachelor degrees in agronomy, horticulture, and precision agriculture that span a range of careers in the plant sciences such as agronomy, crop production, entomology, genetics, genomics, horticulture, plant breeding, plant pathology, soil science, and weed science.

For more information, contact Dr. David L. Wright at 605-688-5123 or David.Wright@sdstate.edu.

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