Crops News

Bayer commits $16.7M to Southwest cotton breeding


A new cotton breeding research facility from Bayer hopes to help Southwest growers across three million acres improve their bottom line.

The research and development at Bayer’s new Lubbock Breeding and Trait Development Station is focusing on genetically-modified and native trait development to provide solutions to agronomic challenges.

The innovative facility builds on a proven history of profitable, high-quality cotton varieties that Bayer brings to market through the FiberMax and Stoneville brands. The grand opening of the facility, which began operating in October 2016, was recently celebrated as researchers prepared to plant the facility’s first research crop.

“Bayer has led the way in cotton advancements for the Southwest since three employees opened our first facility in 1998,” says Monty Christian, Bayer Vice President for U.S. Cotton Operations, in a recent release. “Since that modest start, Bayer has added two separate breeding stations, a seed processing plant, a quality assurance lab, a seed warehousing facility, and a state-of-the art research and development lab. We employ about 120 people in the Lubbock area – and we’re adding 25 more with this breeding and trait development station.”

Southwest cotton growers are the focus for work at this new facility.

“More than half of the U.S. cotton acreage is grown in this Southwest area, where Lubbock is the focal point. Work released from this facility will ripple across three million acres,” notes Jason Wistehuff, product manager for FiberMax and Stoneville cotton. “Economic sustainability is essential to growers who count on FiberMax to provide seed featuring advanced genetics for premium fiber quality and higher yield potential. Providing varieties that deliver that higher profit potential with lower inputs and increased disease resistance will complement the knowledge and skill growers bring to cotton production year in and year out.”

The Lubbock Breeding and Trait Development Station was part of Bayer’s commitment to invest nearly $1 billion in the United States between 2013-2016 in new facilities and capital expansion to complement the approximately $1 billion invested globally in research and development annually. The breeding and research focus here is on varieties and traits that clear agronomic hurdles and enhance both efficiency and profitability for growers who are working to provide food, feed, fiber, and renewable raw materials globally. In addition to the Lubbock Station, Bayer also built a cotton breeding station in Dawson, Georgia and multi-crop research and development facilities in Marion, Arkansas, and White Heath, Illinois in 2016.

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