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Crop Biotech Update

New Research Facility to Secure Global Wheat Supply

June 17, 2011

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a 2,800-square-foot greenhouse that will be used by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists to fight stem rust disease that threatens the world's wheat and barley production.

"Since 1999, the world has faced a new and unprecedented threat from a stem rust called Ug99. More than 80 percent of our global wheat crop is vulnerable to Ug99. This new greenhouse for wheat research puts another U.S. research facility on the front lines to battle Ug99 and help secure global food security," said ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling.

Aside from increasing the controlled growing space for Cereal Disease Laboratory of ARS, the greenhouse will also enhance the laboratory's analytic capacity with use of new state-of-the-art facilities. The construction of the greenhouse is being funded by USAID and USDA through Feed the Future, the U.S. government's global initiative for hunger and food security.

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