​The Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center is an automated field phenotyping facility. The center will help students and faculty learn how the genetic makeup of a plant adapts and reacts to the environment to produce complex traits such as growth, tolerance and yield.​ Photo by Tom Campbell. View Slideshow

Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center now open for business at ACRE

By Erin Robinson | Published Monday, August 29, 2016

Dedication ceremonies were held Monday (Aug. 29) for the Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center, a 25,500-square foot facility designed to promote research in automated field phenotyping, the process of measuring and analyzing observable plant characteristics.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels said the center would help ensure food security for a growing global population.

"It will require truly revolutionary new technologies to feed a world of 9 billion people and to do so in a way friendly to the environment," Daniels said. "The Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center will play a big part in meeting this most urgent of global challenges."

Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture Jay Akridge talks about the impact the new Indiana Corn & Soybean Innovation Center will have on current and prospective students.

Jay Akridge, the Glenn W Sample Dean of Agriculture, said the facility, located at the Purdue Agronomy Center for Research and Education (ACRE), will help transform agricultural research.

"This facility, the only one of its kind at an American university, brings together multidisciplinary teams of faculty and students to develop innovative technologies in plant agriculture," he said. "Scientists, engineers and aviation specialists are collaborating to apply their expertise to the most pressing problems in plant sciences and our food production system."

The $15 million center is a component of the plant sciences research and education initiative, part of Purdue Moves, announced in 2013 to broaden Purdue's global impact and enhance educational opportunities for students.

The center features state-of-the art technologies for plant processing, seed analysis, threshing and shelling, advanced sensing and data management.

It was developed with a combined $4 million investment from the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council. AgReliant Genetics, Ag Alumni Seed and ALMACO are also key partners in the project.

Phenotyping is the process of learning how the genetic makeup of a plant adapts and reacts to the environment to produce complex traits such as growth, tolerance and yield.

In addition to Daniels and Akridge, other speakers at the dedication were Joe Steinkamp, president of the Indiana Soybean Alliance and a farmer from Evansville, and David Gottbrath, Indiana Corn Marketing Council president and a farmer from Pekin.

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