Thursday, March 9, 2017

Southwest Cotton Breeding Gets $16.7 million Boost from Bayer

A new Bayer breeding and research station near Lubbock, Texas, focuses on drought-resistant cotton varieties and traits for limited-input situations.
FiberMax and Stoneville

IDALOU, TEXAS (March 9, 2017) – Cotton growers across the Southwest will benefit from research and development at the Lubbock Breeding and Trait Development Station, where Bayer is focusing on genetically-modified and native trait development to provide solutions to agronomic challenges.

The innovative facility builds on a proven history of profitable, high-quality cotton varieties that Bayer brings to market through the FiberMax® and Stoneville® brands. The grand opening of the facility, which began operating in October 2016, will be celebrated today as researchers prepare to plant the facility’s first research crop. This facility builds on the Bayer history of developing premium quality varieties to complement the knowledge and skill of Southwest cotton growers.

“Bayer has led the way in cotton advancements for the Southwest since three employees opened our first facility in 1998,” says Monty Christian, Bayer Vice President for U.S. Cotton Operations. “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. We employ about 120 people in the Lubbock area – and we’re adding 25 more with this breeding and trait development station.“

Southwest cotton growers are the focus for work at this new facility.

“More than half of the U.S. 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. Providing varieties that deliver that higher profit potential with lower inputs and increased disease resistance will complement the knowledge and skill growers bring to cotton production year in and year out.“

The Lubbock Breeding and Trait Development Station was 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. In addition to the Lubbock Station, Bayer also built a cotton breeding station in Dawson, Georgia and multi-crop research and development facilities in Marion, Arkansas, and White Heath, Illinois in 2016.

“Bayer is committed to cotton. Bayer is committed to West Texas. 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,” said Mike Gilbert, vice president and Head of Global Breeding & Trait Development for Bayer.

With exclusive traits and a product portfolio focused on addressing grower challenges – such as limited water, bacterial blight, Verticillium wilt and nematode resistance, 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.

The Breeding and Trait Development Station will employ approximately 25 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.

Bayer is committed to bringing new technology and solutions for agriculture and non-agricultural uses. For questions concerning the availability and use of products, contact a local Bayer representative, or visit Crop Science, a division of Bayer, online at

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