Benson Hill, a St. Louis, Missouri-based agtech company, recently opened a new innovation facility in the heart of the 39 North Agtech Innovation District, which the company says will massively expand its ability to test and develop plant-based food and ingredients products.
The new 47,000 square foot research and development facility includes infrastructure to advance the agtech firm’s product development efforts. Technology inside the facility includes growth houses and chambers, additive carbon dioxide, and temperature, humidity and lighting controls.
Benson Hill said the Crop Accelerator gives it a “more than twenty-fold expansion in testing capacity” and is designed to utilize innovative imaging and automation technology to speed up its crop development process. Benson Hill co-founder and CEO Matt Crisp said the design and technology of the Crop Accelerator “unlock a pace of development we can’t otherwise achieve.”
Benson Hill planted the first soybean and yellow pea seeds inside the new facility Sept. 17. Those two crops are critical to the company’s ingredients division, which focuses on the fast-growing plant-based protein market by targeting development of new varieties of the yellow pea as well as production and commercialization of its proprietary soybean varieties.
Missouri is the world leader in agtech, paving the way with innovative technology and research in plant science and animal health that is transforming agriculture. From Bayer Crop Science’s Global Seeds & Traits HQ and their North American commercial headquarters in St. Louis, to the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, Missouri’s $88 billion ag industries encompass more than 378,000 jobs across the state.