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BASF expanding seed breeding, testing operations

Agriculture.com Staff 04/17/2007 @ 7:12am

BASF Plant Science is expanding its breeding and testing operations with three new facilities, bringing the company's total to seven stations focused on developing new corn genetics, according to a company release.

An existing facility in Estherville, Iowa, was purchased for growing yield trials. The facility has a full-time staff of four. In addition, as many as 30 seasonal employees also will be hired with plans to add additional staff in the coming year.

Another existing facility to be used for yield trials and breeding was purchased in Weldon, Illinois. They currently have four full-time employees, including one new breeder, and will hire part-time seasonal employees as necessary.

The Hawaii facility, on the island of Kauai, is used as a continuous nursery. Corn harvested in the Midwest will be shipped to this location for planting in November. Once harvested, the seed will be returned to the Midwest for spring planting. This will allow the growth of two or more generations of a crop in one year.

Corn hybrids developed by BASF Plant Science are currently marketed as NutriDense, a nutritionally enhanced corn that contains a stacked set of output traits designed to enhance animal feed performance. Seed companies throughout the Midwest market the product through licensing agreements.

Between 2006 and 2008 BASF is investing $430 million in the expansion of its plant biotechnology operations.

BASF Plant Science is expanding its breeding and testing operations with three new facilities, bringing the company's total to seven stations focused on developing new corn genetics, according to a company release.

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