AgReliant Genetics is expanding its corn research efforts in Kansas by adding a breeding program facility and nursery that will accommodate the company's continued business growth in the western Corn Belt states.
Located in the K-96 Corridor between Hutchinson and Wichita, Kan., this facility will be led by Station Manager and Corn Breeder, Mike Popelka, Ph.D. Popelka grew up on a farm in Republic County, Kan. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University and a doctorate in plant breeding from Purdue University.
Joining Popelka at the station will be Bryan Unruh. Serving as the facility's yield trial manager, Unruh, received his Master of Science degree in crop production from Kansas State University.
The station's staff will manage product performance trial results on products suitable for Kansas, western Missouri, southwest Iowa and southern Nebraska geographies. This southwestern section of the Corn Belt has been a key source of growth for AgReliant Genetics. The goal of the station will be to continue the development of top-performing hybrids for both irrigated soil and dry land terrain.
The facility itself will consist of 12,000 square feet of seed packaging labs, machinery storage and additional office space. Located adjacent to the facility will be a 25 acre breeding nursery which is expected to seasonally employ over 25 part-time high school and college students who will facilitate corn hand-pollination.