RALEIGH, NC. — Construction has begun on a $100 million plant research facility for the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

The university’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the USDA hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Sept. 6 to celebrate the construction of the facility, which the USDA said underscores its commitment to supporting scientific research that addresses agricultural challenges for the nation’s farmers and consumers.

“This investment in modern scientific infrastructure reflects USDA’s commitment to pioneering research and cutting-edge solutions that ensure growers can be more productive, profitable and resilient,” said Chavonda Jacobs-Young, PhD, chief scientist and undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics at the USDA. “It also underscores the importance of our partnership with NC State to bring state-of-the-art scientific computing to this campus that will help expand the frontier of agricultural science.”

The facility will house 30 to 40 experts from the ARS and NC State who will conduct research on corn, soybean, wheat, cotton and peanuts. When completed, the 51,296-square-foot, single-story building will feature processing areas, offices and research spaces organized in wings corresponding to their respective crop.

“The impact of agriculture and agribusiness in North Carolina exceeds $100 billion,” said Randy Woodson, chancellor of NC State. “We’re excited to partner with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service on this facility and its solutions-driven approach for crops that are important economic drivers of the state’s economy.”