Monsanto Canada Inc.

Monsanto Canada Inc.

July 27, 2009 12:30 ET

Monsanto Sees Bright Future in Canola

Significant investment in Manitoba, Saskatchewan to advance uniquely Canadian crop for the benefit of Canadian canola growers

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - July 27, 2009) - As part of a comprehensive strategy for its Canadian canola business, Monsanto Canada today announced details of a Cdn$15 million investment over the next two years to support its long-term canola strategy and deliver its pipeline of beneficial crop technologies to Canadian farmers.

The announcement included details of the construction of the new, state-of-the-art Monsanto Canada Plant Breeding Centre to be located adjacent to the current site of Monsanto's corporate Canadian head office located at the University of Manitoba's SmartPark in Winnipeg, Manitoba and the upgrade and expansion of Monsanto's Crop Technology Research Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

"Canola is a key strategic commercial imperative for Monsanto's Canadian business and a significant crop for western Canadian farmers," said Ryan Baldwin, Monsanto Canada's Seed and Traits Lead. "The investment at SmartPark will allow us to increase synergies between the breeding, product development, supply and commercial aspects of our business to ensure we deliver on the pipeline of new, beneficial crop technologies for our farm customers."

The Monsanto Canada Breeding Centre - which will cover approximately 29,000 sq. ft. and contain office space, labs and greenhouses - will serve as the home to the majority of the breeding effort for Monsanto's rapidly growing canola business. Approximately 40 staff involved in line development breeding, breeding support functions and the canola breeding management team will work at the new site which will also include laboratory facilities for all canola quality analytics, double haploid breeding (tissue culture) and plant pathology. Plant cultivation facilities such as growth rooms, convirons, soil preparation areas and warehouse space are also incorporated into the facility design and will accommodate activities related to canola plant breeding such as crosses, plant cultivation, drying and threshing.

The new Breeding Centre will be built to "LEED Silver" certification - an eco-friendly seal of approval that recognizes the company's commitment to sustainable, energy-efficient building construction. Monsanto Canada previously invested Cdn$4 million to relocate its Canadian corporate head office to the University of Manitoba campus in 2005.

"We are excited with the development of Monsanto Canada's new Breeding Centre at SmartPark, an important addition to its existing Canadian head office at the park," said Alan Simms, President of SmartPark Research and Technology Park at the University of Manitoba. "It reinforces Monsanto Canada's commitment to our research park and it confirms that SmartPark and Winnipeg can be a place where companies like Monsanto Canada, with its world class research and global experience delivering products to market, can deliver on their innovation strategies."

Total cost of the construction of the breeding facility is expected to run in the neighborhood of Cdn$10 million and include an additional $2 million in capital costs. Construction will begin in July 2009 with an anticipated completion date of June 2010. Monsanto expects the new facility to be fully occupied by December 2010.

The investment in infrastructure announced today supports an annual research and development (R&D) spend for canola of more than Cdn$20M per year. The company's current canola program is focused on providing support for its Genuity™ canola trait business; maximizing return on germplasm investment in canola hybrids through the DEKALB® seed brand; and creating a new germplasm and agronomic trait package, including bringing new beneficial traits to canola that will include yield, nitrogen use efficiency and drought tolerance genes.

"Monsanto's decision to expand its operations here creates a welcome asset to Manitoba's biotech cluster, building on the collective expertise available here and creating a positive impact on the future of Canada's agriculture industry," said Deputy Premier and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, Rosann Wowchuk. "This multinational agricultural company is known internationally and brings more scientific, educational and agricultural benefits for our producers and all Manitobans."

Also included as part of today's announcement were details of an expansion of Monsanto's new Crop Technology Research Centre (CTRC) near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - a project that began in the spring of 2008 when Monsanto purchased 159 acres of previously leased land. Since then the project has designed and built a 3,600 sq. ft. research farm office with associated infrastructure. Total value of this investment in Saskatoon is Cdn$3 million. Many of the canola hybrids developed by the breeding group will be tested and advanced at this facility. As well, all canola trait development and field testing will be managed out of the CTRC.

"This commitment to new infrastructure is just the beginning," says Cory McArthur, Marketing Director for canola and crop protection. "We have ramped up our investment in canola over the past five years and we are already seeing some top-performing new DEKALB hybrids like DKL 72-65RR and 72-55RR hitting the market. Looking forward, we expect to see continued genetic gains in our breeding program and this investment will be further enhanced by new trait technologies as our pipeline begins to deliver the products farmers have told us make a difference on their farms."

Headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Monsanto Canada Inc. is part of the larger global Monsanto family. Monsanto Company is an agricultural company and a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. Learn more about our business and our commitments at www.monsanto.ca.

Monsanto Canada Breeding Centre Event Photos

Photos from today's event will be available for download at 4:00 pm.

To access photos follow these steps:

1. Go to bcg.ca

2. Go to FTP link (bottom right side of window)

3. Login-Username: Media Password: Monsanto (username and password are case sensitive)

Contact Information