Cotton growers across the Southeast will benefit from increased yield, quality, and profitability
DAWSON, GEORGIA (October 20, 2016) – Growers across the Southeast region will reap the benefit of a $4.4 million, 150-acre cotton breeding facility built by Bayer in Dawson, Georgia.
The innovative facility builds on a proven history of profitable cotton varieties brought to market through its Stoneville® and FiberMax® brands. The grand opening of the facility, which began operating in January 2016, was celebrated today during harvest of the first research crop.
“We’re so proud to be here opening this incredible new facility, as this inauguration represents a significant investment for Georgia and a clear commitment to Bayer’s investment in advancing technology across cotton,” said Monty Christian, Bayer Vice President for U.S. Cotton Operations. “We will continue here with Bayer’s proven record of delivering cotton varieties with high yield potential and high quality fiber packages, specifically through our flagship brands, Stoneville and FiberMax.”
The Southeast Cotton Breeding Station is part of Bayer’s commitment to invest nearly $1 billion in the United States between 2013-2016 in new facilities and capital expansion to complement the approximately $1 billion invested globally in research and development annually. The breeding and research focus here is on varieties and traits that clear agronomic hurdles and enhance both, efficiency and profitability for growers who are working to provide food, feed, fiber and renewable raw materials globally.
“For us, it is important to continue expanding our Seeds business through R&D, 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,” said Mike Gilbert, V.P. and Head of Global Breeding & Trait Development for Bayer.
With exclusive traits and a product portfolio focused on addressing grower challenges, the Bayer team is poised to deliver higher returns for growers. Bayer offers integrated crop solutions in a range of products from seeds and traits, to chemical and biological protection products and services to ensure growers have the right tools they need when they need them. For the Stoneville brand, the breeding station will continue to build on a lineup focused on providing varieties adapted to the Southeast with excellent early-season vigor and proven performance under the unrelenting regional pest pressures.
Southeast industry leaders and university researchers commended Bayer’s commitment to cotton while touring the facility, where harvest has started for the first crop of breeding and research plots. The facility adds to the economic weight brought by agriculture - and cotton specifically, in Georgia and the Southeast.
The Cotton Breeding Station will employ 10 to 15 people who will work with a larger global team to promote advanced research on genetics, chemistry, and traits to provide holistic agricultural solutions to customers around the world. In addition to the full-time employees, many area residents will be hired each year to assist with planting and harvesting activities.
Providing food, feed, fiber and renewable raw materials for the growing global population is one of the greatest challenges facing the world. Studies show that by the year 2050, our planet will be home to more than nine billion people. However, the amount of available agricultural land is limited and under pressure due to increasing urbanization, higher salinity levels and soil erosion. In addition, extreme weather conditions like drought and flooding are impacting harvest quantity and quality. Bayer is the third-largest innovative agricultural input company in the world.
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