TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to relocate the headquarters of two research agencies to the Kansas City area, intensifying concerns that research will suffer.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the move Thursday and said it will bring the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture closer to farmers and agribusinesses.

He also said it would save about $20 million a year.

But the Union of Concerned Scientists predicted the move will drive off researchers and called it “a blatant attack on science.”

A union representing Economic Research Service employees said the move is “coldhearted” and called for keeping workers in Washington.

Members of the Kansas and Missouri congressional delegations and the state’s governors applauded the decision.

It’s expected to bring 550 jobs to the area.