Benson Hill has opened its new crop accelerator, a controlled environment research facility located near the company’s St. Louis headquarters. The Crop Accelerator is operational ahead of schedule and under budget, with the facility’s first soybean and yellow pea seeds planted on September 17.
The 47,000 square-foot facility features dynamically adaptive Conviron growth houses and chambers, equipped with multi-channel LEDs, additive CO2, temperature, humidity, and lighting controls.
The Crop Accelerator is designed to provide a more than twenty-fold expansion in testing capacity and incorporates automation and imaging capabilities to streamline operations and throughput. The first plants are thriving, and experiments are underway to further reduce development timelines with a focus on scalability, speed, and consistency.
Jason Bull, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer of Benson Hill: “By combining the AI-driven breeding capabilities of CropOS with the controlled environment and accelerated growth cycles of the Crop Accelerator, our team can even more rapidly predict, test, and develop ingredients starting with a better seed.”