Seed Plant Opening Delayed

The opening of a $100 million seed corn plant near Independence. IA, will be delayed for about a year.

According to a Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette report, Monsanto Co. has decided to put the plant’s start-up on hold because it experienced a record year for seed production.

"We had a terrific bin-buster of a year," said Darren Wallis, spokesman for St. Louis, MO-based Monsanto.

Wallis said site preparation on 177 acres just west of the community’s Agribition Center will begin in the spring for the plant. It will create 50 full-time jobs and as many as 1,000 seasonal positions, primarily for detasselers, when operational in 2011. The facility will include two large grain dryers, bulk storage, a conditioning tower capable of packaging 1,200 bags of seed corn per hour, offices, a 175,000-square-foot warehouse, a parking lot, and access roads for trucks.

A $2.5 million breeding research station that is part of the overall project will be built next year.

Wallis said the scope of the project will not be reduced in connection with the delayed opening. He noted that expansions and increased production at Monsanto plants in Ankeny, Boone, and Grinnell. IA, will enable the company to have enough corn seed to supply farmers in 2009 and 2010.

(Source: AgriMarketing)

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