Decorative image of DNAAgribusiness is South Carolina’s most profitable industry. In 2013, agribusiness brought in a collective $41.7 billion for the state. To increase the economic impact of agribusiness in SC, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, the Palmetto AgriBusiness Council, and the South Carolina Farm Bureau implemented the 50 by 20 plan. The goal of the 50 by 20 plan is to increase the returns of agribusiness to $50 billion by the year 2020.

The Advanced Plant Technology Program (APT Program), founded in 2012, is assisting in the plan.

The APT Program is enhancing crops in South Carolina by producing plant varieties that are superior in performance to older varieties. Our researchers are studying all aspects of crop production, from the plants to the pests. We utilize advanced techniques in genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, computational biology, and robotics. We also provide research-based information to growers so that they can produce crops more efficiently.

Our dynamic list of goals:

  • Find new genes to enhance food and animal-feed quality 

  • Develop new uses for agricultural byproducts 

  • Utilize and preserve agricultural biodiversity and genetic diversity in crops
  • Increase per-acre value of crops by improving yield, drought tolerance, pest tolerance, and disease resistance 

  • Introduce new crops not typically grown in SC to expand national and international market opportunities
  • Provide research-based information in a timely fashion to growers 

  • Identify underutilized crops for innovative production systems
  • Develop sustainable methods and adaptable crop resources
  • Attract private investments in research, development, and implementation of new technologies
  • Optimize Genotype by Environment by Management (G x E x M) systems

We are seeking partners! If you’re committed to advancing agriculture in South Carolina and the southeastern United States, please join us!

Learn more about how you can support national agricultural research and education here.