The WinField United Innovation Center — the new epicenter of WinField United product and technology testing and development — opened in River Falls, Wis.
The 55,000-square-foot facility replaces the former WinField Product Development Center and Spray Analysis System, which was housed on the same site. Innovation Center staff perform product research on a variety of agricultural products, including adjuvants, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, plant nutrition and performance solutions and seed treatments.
“The WinField United Innovation Center further strengthens our research and development capabilities, and our reputation as a leader in 21st-century agribusiness and innovation,” says Chris Policinski, president and CEO, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Arden Hills, Minn., which merged with Winfield United in 2016. “The research and testing performed here will enable more targeted applications of crop protection products, which benefits both applicators and farmers. It also helps move the industry forward to achieve greater sustainability in land, water and air quality.”
A key piece of the Innovation Center is the Infinity Group, a spray application laboratory that uses state-of-the art technology to evaluate the entire application process, including pesticide and adjuvant formulations, tank mixes, nozzle performance, spray characterization, drift and droplet deposition and plant uptake. Testing is performed in the laboratory, as well as in controlled and in-field environments. One of the main features of the Infinity Group is a wind tunnel, where many spray application variables are tested using non-invasive diagnostic approaches to precisely measure droplet size and velocity.
“Before we bring products to a farmer’s fields, we make sure they work in our fields first,” says Mike Vande Logt, executive vice president and COO, WinField United. “All of our products are developed with farmers top-of-mind. We apply the latest best practices in our research approach and have backed our commitment with a significant monetary investment in our new center. Our product development process is a stamp of approval that represents the comprehensive, rigorous, proven method we use to bring products and technologies to market.”