Bayer CropScience has recently celebrated the groundbreaking of its newest research and development facility: a 40,000-square-foot greenhouse, which will help increase the number of traits available for cotton varieties in both the U.S. and international markets.
The company plans to invest USD 17 million for the new greenhouse, located at Agricenter International in Memphis, Tenn., as part of the greater Bayer CropScience commitment to invest EUR 7 billion in research and development as well as an expansion of production capacities and seed processing facilities globally between 2011 and 2016.
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton Jr. joined other local Tennessee dignitaries and Bayer CropScience executives to share in the festivities.
The event, which was held on April 1, 2013, began with a groundbreaking ceremony at the Bayer CropScience Memphis site.
More than 40 local dignitaries visited the Bayer CropScience site and heard comments from Lloyd McCall, Director Global Molecular Breeding; Geoff Kneen, Head of Strategic Initiatives and Research Triangle Park Operations; and Al Balducchi, Global Cotton Trait Introgression Manager.
The festivities concluded with a reception hosted by Agricenter International that showcased Tennessee agriculture and the valuable contributions companies such as Bayer CropScience make to sustain it.
“Bayer CropScience is the leading cotton seed company globally, and we are committed to bringing innovation to the cotton industry. Once completed, the Memphis Greenhouse will allow us to increase the number of traits for cotton varieties for both U.S. and global markets,” said Mike Gilbert, Head of Global Breeding and Trait Development for Bayer CropScience.
Gilbert continued, “This greenhouse will help ensure we maintain our leading position in the global cotton industry by delivering growers choices and sustainable solutions.”
The Memphis Greenhouse, which is scheduled for completion in early 2014, will feature 40,000 square feet of growing space as well as a spacious headhouse and open office area.
It will be unique in its scale and global scope, and will help Bayer CropScience provide new technologies to give growers more choices.
The Memphis Greenhouse will enhance efficient selection for cotton breeding while improving ergonomic working conditions for staff.
Bayer CropScience supports environmentally compatible practices company-wide, and the Memphis Greenhouse was designed with sustainability in mind.
For example, by incorporating automation into the design, the greenhouse will have a reduced footprint, which means less materials and an approximate 40 percent reduction annually in natural gas and electricity consumption.
Additionally, the facility will include hands-free plumbing fixtures and high efficiency lights with longer lasting ballasts.
The Memphis site of Bayer CropScience supports all of the company’s cotton brands, including Stoneville® and FiberMax®.
All cotton trait introgression work for North America is done in Memphis, which also provides trait introgression support for Bayer CropScience cotton seed business development in South America.