North Dakota Facility Aiding US Agriculture Research

Kelly MarshallGenetics, Genotyping, NCGA, Research

nagcA North Dakota science facility is helping U.S. ag research get up to speed.  Currently the nation is falling behind when it comes to agriculture research, due mainly to a lack of funding, but the National Agriculture Genotyping Center (NAGC) is committed to getting the United States back in the game.

Work related to sustainable production practices, genetic improvement and new uses is where the rubber meets the road – and, it’s also exactly the kind of work we need more of. Tangible results from these kinds of investments can take up to 15 years to fully realize. Enter the National Agricultural Genotyping Center, a small but high tech facility with the single mission of translating scientific discoveries into solutions for farmers. The facility is the brainchild of the National Corn Growers Association in partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

“The name ‘National Agricultural Genotyping Center,’ or NAGC, may sound intimidating but at its core the facility and its mission is very simple,” said Larry Hoffmann, chairman of the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Productivity & Quality Action Team. “They are here to identify high priority problems related to production agriculture, food safety, functional foods, bioenergy and national security and then use the latest technology to find an expedited solution.”

“Expediting a solution” means the NAGC will develop, run and review genetic assays, moving the U.S. back into play with countries like China, India and Brazil.  Smarter investments will lead to real answers to problems like the honey bee colony collapse or plant and animal diseases.

“NAGC is already proving its worth because of its ability to quickly assess and better understand these problems,” NCGA Research Director Dr. Richard Vierling said. “When it’s done right, agricultural genotyping can alleviate the inefficiencies, redundancies, bottlenecks and gaps that impede research and commercial development.”