WREC Seed Cleaning Facility Nears Completion

The new state-of-the-art NDSU Williston Research Extension Center (WREC) seed cleaning facility is nearing completion. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building will be held after field day tours on Wednesday, July 14.

The new facility will clean seed approximately 200 bushels an hour, which is six times faster than the Center's current seed cleaning facility. The seed will also be all on one level so WREC staff will be able to perform several projects at once. 

"We will be able to more than triple our cleaning capacity and guarantee purity of seed varieties. We will also be able to increase the number of crops that we can grow for seed production, to give the seedsmen who acquire the seed from us more options and availability. That is the goal here to produce the best public seed varieties that we can to make the producers in the MonDak region more profitable. The good thing about public seed varieties is you can replant your seed production back year after year on your own operation," said Kyle Dragseth, WREC farm manager.

Cleaning seed at the current facility is difficult; workers have to keep an eye on the seed from five separate levels. It isn't the best of working conditions; it contains poor lighting, ladders, and poor dust control. It's also hard to find the parts to keep the current plant up and running.

In addition to poor working conditions, it only produces 35 bushels an hour, which makes it challenging to keep up with regional demand. The new facility will have an optical sorter with infrared cameras designed for the most complex color sorting.

"This sorter will deliver seed with the highest genetic purity of new and higher-yielding/value-added crop varieties for MonDak area growers. The new facility will enable pure seed production and guarantee complete separation of crops, with all the seed cleaning equipment designed for simplicity of clean-out and ease of accessibility," added Dragseth.

This new facility will make the WREC seed production process more profitable and enable consumers' access to more crops and different varieties of seeds from public breeding programs to include North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Minnesota, and Canada.


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