Monsanto Co. recently welcomed guests to the company’s Roundup agricultural herbicide production facility in Luling, LA, to celebrate the completion of a nearly $200 million expansion just outside of New Orleans. The expansion was announced and started in April 2008 to increase production of Roundup brand agricultural herbicide.
“This has been a huge project for us in scope and in terms of the financial investment,” says CEO and chairman Hugh Grant. “However, it is more than an investment in this plant; it’s an investment in farmers. It’s an investment that will help ensure farmers continue to have access to the most trusted and reliable crop protection products available. This expansion allows us to boost Roundup production capacity by 20 percent and help us minimize our impact on the environment by reducing our carbon footprint and scaling back our energy use.”
Kerry Preete, president of the company’s Crop Protection Division, says, “Farmers have implemented more on-farm conservation practices to conserve soil matter and water by limiting or eliminating tillage. Those on-farm innovations frequently include the use of Roundup as the standard for weed control and crop safety. Our products also help farmers do their jobs more efficiently, frequently allowing them to spend more time with their families.”
The improvements at the facility include:
- Major infrastructure reliability projects such as a new air compressor, new rail lines, a new river dock, increased container and tank storage capacity and road improvements.
- Energy and emission reduction projects such as hydrogen recovery and replacing two older boilers with one larger one.
Rebuilding the Gulf Coast has been a major priority in the region since Hurricane Katrina. Some of the dignitaries attending, including Gov. Bobby Jindal, pointed to projects like this expansion as an example of the rebuilding effort despite the recession. The Luling project took nearly two years to complete, with nearly 1.2 million man hours of construction labor and approximately 90 percent of the value of the labor contracted through companies in Baton Rouge, Thibodeaux, and New Orleans.
Preete says, “We are proud to play a small role in the economic well-being of the New Orleans region. We’re pleased that many of our suppliers are Louisiana-based and contributed to the rebuilding effort. This region has provided us a wealth of scientific and manufacturing talent, and those employees contribute to the vitality of South Louisiana.”
All of the Roundup product sold in the U.S. is manufactured domestically – at Monsanto’s Luling and Muscatine, IA, locations. Roundup agricultural herbicide innovations offer farmers unsurpassed weed control and crop safety on a cost effective basis.