Kansas Wheat Innovation Center Open House Held April 26, 2013
The $10.3 million Kansas Wheat Innovation Center (KWIC) was built by the Kansas Wheat Commission, through the Kansas wheat checkoff. It represents the single largest investment by wheat farmers in the nation. The Center was built on land owned by Kansas State University; the Kansas Wheat Commission has a 50-year lease on the property.
About the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center
Construction on the $10.3 million Kansas Wheat Innovation Center began in October, 2011 and the facility was completed in November, 2012. Kansas Wheat staff moved in the last week of November, 2012.
The KWIC features 35,000 square feet of space, including:
- 15,000 square feet of research laboratories. This space is currently occupied by Heartland Plant Innovations, where researchers are developing doubled haploid wheat lines, which enable pure lines of wheat to be developed quickly, reducing the time needed to create wheat varieties by about 50%. The laboratory section features 13 environmentally controlled growth rooms, in which young plants can be grown in a controlled environment. The laboratories include space that can be used by K-State Wheat Genetics and Resource Center.
- 10,000 square feet of greenhouses. Four greenhouse rooms are used to grow out wheat plants in the doubled haploid process. One of the rooms is air-conditioned, allowing for research to occur even in the summer. All four units have automated controls for shade, ventilation and watering. The greenhouse portion of the building includes a headhouse in which soil preparation, potting and seed processing occur.
Kansas Wheat Commission Breaks Ground on Kansas Wheat Innovation Center
The Kansas Wheat Commission is funding the 40,000 square-foot structure, which includes 15,000 square feet of advanced wheat breeding laboratories, a 10,000 square-foot greenhouse complex and 15,000 square feet of office space. The center will house Heartland Plant Innovations (HPI), a Kansas Wheat initiative focused on developing new technologies for Kansas Wheat Farmers. The staff of the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers also will be headquartered at the KWIC.
“One of the most notable tenants will be HPI’s Advanced Breeding Services Unit, which has developed a doubled haploid laboratory that can reduce wheat variety development time from approximately 12 years to potentially five years. This laboratory puts new varieties in the hands of growers faster,” said Justin Gilpin CEO of Kansas Wheat.
The research facility will also house some of the operations of K-State’s world-renowned Wheat Genetics and Genomics Resource Center (WGGRC).
The KWIC is being built on three acres adjacent to the Grain Science and Industry Complex north of Kimball Avenue in Manhattan, on land being leased from Kansas State University. The Manhattan-based architect firm Bowman, Bowman and Novick, Inc., designed the facility; Coonrod and Associates, Wichita, is the project’s construction manager. It is expected to be completed by summer of 2012.
The cost of the KWIC project is $8.3 million and will be funded mostly by wheat check-off funds collected from Kansas wheat producers. Additional sources of funding include grant money from the Kansas Bioscience Authority and private fundraising.
“Farmers repeatedly voice support for investing more check-off dollars in wheat research,” said Richard Randall, KWC Chairman from Scott City. “This project represents the largest single research investment that wheat farmers have ever made in the U.S., and signals a bold step taken by the Kansas Wheat Commission to provide farmers access to advanced genetics and trait discovery.”
David Schemm, president of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers from Sharon Springs, says the state’s KAWG fully supports the KWIC. “One of our national strategic initiatives is to increase wheat yields 20% by 2018. This Innovation Center will help us achieve that goal,” Schemm says.
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For more information, contact:
Justin Gilpin, CEO, Kansas Wheat Commission / Kansas Assn. of Wheat Growers
217 Southwind Place
Manhattan, KS 66502
Kansas Wheat Innovation Center
The Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation was established as the official research fundraising organization for the Kansas Wheat Commission. The Research Foundation allows individuals and industry members to contribute tax-deductible gifts to fund research. To learn more about how you can donate, visit the Research Foundation website: http://www.kansaswheatresearch.org/