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USDA-ARS Greenhouse Dedicated at WSU

PULLMAN, Wash. — A $190,000 addition to a U.S. Department of Agriculture greenhouse was dedicated Tuesday at Washington State University.

The 1,000-square-foot expansion will provide USDA-Agricultural Research Service plant breeders with additional space for experiments with dry peas, lentils and chickpeas.

More than 90 percent of the nation’s dry peas and lentils are grown in the Palouse.

“The facility will give us additional capacity to grow plants during the winter and early spring seasons in order to develop varieties of food legumes faster than we normally would,” said Fred Muehlbauer, USDA-ARS geneticist. Muehlbauer leads the agency’s Grain Legume Genetics and Physiology Research Unit here.

Construction, begun last June, was completed in February. The project was funded by ARS with a matching contribution from the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council and the ARS. WSU provided the land.

During the ceremony, Tim McGreevy, administrator of the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, presented a $50,000 check to WSU to help pay for the next agricultural research building project on campus: an $8.2 million state-of-the-art wheat breeding facility.

The project is being funded by contributions from growers and state and federal appropriations. Some legume research will be conducted in the facility.

The university hopes to break ground on the project next month.

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