Grant funds greenhouse expansion at Kansas Wheat Innovation Center

Grant funds greenhouse expansion at Kansas Wheat Innovation Center

Dane G. Hansen Foundation grant will assist in construction of four-bay greenhouse to be used for public/private collaborative research.

The Dane G. Hansen Foundation of Logan, Kan., has awarded a $200,000 grant to the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation to go toward a greenhouse expansion project at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center (KWIC) in Manhattan, Kan.

The grant will assist in the construction of a four-bay greenhouse to be used for public/private collaborative research and commercialization in wheat biotechnology. Molecular and genetic research done in KWIC laboratories will be conducted in the greenhouses. A more controlled environment will both enhance and accelerate results.

The 12,750 sq. ft. expansion will be constructed adjacent to existing greenhouses, offices and laboratories at KWIC. The new space will include separate rooms for potting, seed processing and soil preparation and a soil room to receive and handle bulk potting. Special temperature control and grid lighting systems are also included in the project.

Additional funding for the expansion will come from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Kansas Wheat Commission. Groundbreaking for the project is expected to begin later this month.

Wheat is a significant part of the economic vitality of the Dane G. Hansen Foundation service area in northwest Kansas, and the foundation said it is pleased to support a project that enhances crop development for all farmers.

KWIC was built by the Kansas Wheat Commission, through the Kansas wheat checkoff, to get improved wheat varieties to farmers faster. It represents the single largest research  investment by Kansas wheat farmers in history. The center was built on land owned by Kansas State University; the Kansas Wheat Commission has a 50-year lease on the property.

Construction on the $11 million KWIC began in October 2011, and the facility was completed in November 2012.

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