Monsanto Canada Inc.

Monsanto Canada Inc.

July 14, 2010 15:33 ET

Monsanto Gets Green Light to Expand Seed Manufacturing Facility in Lethbridge, Alberta

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - July 14, 2010) - Monsanto Canada today announced it would invest more than Cdn$14 million to expand and upgrade its existing seed manufacturing facility in Lethbridge, Alberta. 

The investment focuses on expanding the company's hybrid seed processing operation and will include plans for a new state of the art cleaning plant and expanded bulk storage. 

The company's hybrid canola seed production team of nine employees in Lethbridge is responsible for managing the production of over 10,000 acres of Monsanto's branded hybrid canola seed production in Southern Alberta.

"Our canola hybrid production volume has increased at a rapid pace and our current facility is not adequate to support our expected continued growth in this segment of our business," said Ryan Baldwin, President of Monsanto Canada's Seed and Traits business. "By bringing everything under one roof, we will gain efficiencies and enhance our quality control. It's the right thing to do for the growth we are forecasting which is driven by the improved performance of our DEKALB canola hybrids and the future pipeline of traits we expect to deliver to canola growers over the next five to ten years."

The upgrades and expansion – construction is planned to start in early September – will increase in-house seed cleaning capacity to handle all of Monsanto's North American hybrid canola seed production. The investment will bring this portion of the company's seed processing under one roof and eliminate the need to utilize outside seed cleaners. Expected completion date is Aug 2011.

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 Genuitycanola 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.

Additional investments to its canola business made by Monsanto Canada last year included Cdn$15 million to construct the new Monsanto Canada Plant Breeding Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba and the expansion of Monsanto's Crop Technology Research (CTRC) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

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.

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