UNL-based USDA precision ag research center on schedule despite budget snafus

A leader with the University of Nebraska says he’s still optimistic about USDA’s precision ag research facility despite disagreements over its funding.

Mike Boehm, vice chancellor with the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, tells Brownfield ground could be broken on UNL’s campus in summer of 2024. “This center will be a pivotal tool in American agriculture’s arsenal to maintain our cutting edge forward leaning #1 spot in the world at producing sustainably produced food, fuel, feed, and fiber that we all need.”

Boehm says there’s been two significant funding proposals for The Center for Resilient and Regenerative Precision Agriculture from President Biden and the House Ag Subcommittee on Appropriations.

He tells Brownfield even with significant differences in funding proposals from the federal government, USDA is about one-third through the planning process. “With the greenhouse growth chamber part of the project that will be their first phase and that will be connected to the University of Nebraska’s Greenhouse Innovation Center.”

Boehm says President Biden’s proposal included 60 additional USDA research scientists and $50 million for construction costs, but the subcommittee allocated $3 million. He says that’s more than one-third of the total funding for all USDA research facilities.

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