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Bayer invests $16.7 million in Southwest cotton
Mar '17
Bayer has opened up a new cotton breeding and research station near Lubbock in Texas to focus on drought-resistant varieties and traits for limited-input situations. Set up with an investment of $16.7 million, the facility will benefit cotton growers across the Southwest by producing genetically-modified varieties and developing native traits.

Opening of the Lubbock Breeding and Trait Development Station, which began operating in October 2016, is being celebrated with researchers preparing to plant the facility's first research crop. The facility builds on the Bayer history of developing premium quality profitable varieties such as FiberMax and Stoneville to complement the knowledge and skill of Southwest cotton growers. It will provide solutions to meet agronomic challenges.

Southwest cotton growers are the focus for work at this new facility. The Breeding and Trait Development Station will employ approximately 25 people who will work with a larger global team on genetics, chemistry, and traits to provide holistic agricultural solutions to customers around the world. Many area residents will also be hired each year to assist with planting and harvesting activities.

"Bayer has led the way in cotton advancements for the Southwest since three employees opened our first facility in 1998. Since that modest start, Bayer has added two separate breeding stations, a seed processing plant, a quality assurance lab, a seed warehousing facility, and a state-of-the art research and development lab," says Monty Christian, Bayer vice president for US cotton operations.

"More than half of the US cotton acreage is grown in this Southwest area, where Lubbock is the focal point. Work released from this facility will ripple across three million acres," notes Jason Wistehuff, product manager for FiberMax and Stoneville cotton.

Economic sustainability is essential to growers who count on FiberMax to provide seed featuring advanced genetics for premium fiber quality and higher yield potential, according to the company. Varieties that deliver higher profit potential with lower inputs and increased disease resistance complement the knowledge and skill growers bring to cotton production year in and year out.

"For growers and for Bayer, it is important to continue expanding our seeds business through research and development, and this facility will bring together significant scientific and technology resources to support the advancement of the agricultural industry, specifically for cotton seed trait and plant research," says Mike Gilbert, vice president and Head of Global Breeding & Trait Development for Bayer.

The Lubbock Breeding and Trait Development Station is part of Bayer's commitment to invest nearly $ one billion in the US between 2013-2016 in new facilities and capital expansion to complement the approximately $ one billion invested globally in research and development annually. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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