The 57,000-square-foot state-of-the-art U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) facility was completed in 1998, with the addition of two greenhouses in 1999 and 2000. The center is named for former U.S. senator from Arkansas Dale Bumpers. This is a much larger building than the RREC (AR5), having a massive curved front with a recessed glass entrance. As in the RREC building, a barrel vaulted hall runs the length of the building. The center’s mission is to conduct research that will help keep the nation’s rice industry competitive in the global marketplace. Major research emphases are the genetic improvement of rice and the biology of pest interactions. The DB NRRC contains offices, research laboratories, seed storage, and greenhouse space. Shared laboratory space is also provided for University of Arkansas rice research groups, as well as visiting scientists.
The evidence of rice culture is evident in towns throughout this and neighboring counties. Metal-walled rice silos, rice dryers, and warehouses line the railroads that thread through the Grand Prairie’s flat land.