Syngenta held a grand re-opening for its newly expanded Clinton, Ill., corn and soybean research and development (R&D) facility. The more than $12 million expansion represents a significant investment in the local economy and builds on the area’s reputation as a hub for ag innovation.
Consistent with The Syngenta Good Growth Plan announced last fall, research conducted at Clinton will enable Syngenta to bring innovations to market more quickly and help corn and soybean farmers grow more from less. The expansion has resulted in the addition of up to eight new full-time jobs at the site, which currently employs 60 full-time employees. The Clinton site also employs approximately 125 seasonal workers, an increase of approximately 50 percent due to the expansion.
Syngenta employees were joined at today’s ribbon cutting event by state and local government officials and civic and agricultural leaders. Ramtin Ahmadi, head of R&D infrastructure for Syngenta, said the enhanced research and development capability at Clinton demonstrates Syngenta’s commitment to R&D innovation and global leadership in corn and soybean product development, and is one example of how Syngenta is bringing its Good Growth Plan to life.
“Syngenta believes it is incumbent on business to play a larger role in fostering a long-term approach to food security,” Ahmadi said. “This means using our substantial investment in R&D to advance technologies that not only protect – but also enhance – the environment, and benefit rural communities.
“While in the past there was a clear distinction between our seeds, seed treatment and crop protection products, we now take a more holistic approach to helping growers succeed. This means we focus on providing the best technology to address their needs, be it a single technology, a combination of technologies, or technologies and services. By merging our deep understanding of agriculture with R&D capabilities like those here in Clinton, we can deliver solutions that will help our customers transform agriculture.”
The Clinton facility supports approximately 235,000 corn and 144,000 soybean trial plots across 700 acres throughout Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Wisconsin, annually. The location features 105 acres of nursery for corn and 95 acres of nursery for soybeans. The expansion includes:
• Tripling in size of the soybean growth rooms
• Construction of seed cold storage, a new equipment maintenance shop, and a new machinery storage building
• Increased overall site capacity
Paul Backman, head, Heartland South Commercial Unit for Syngenta, said the Clinton expansion is aligned with Syngenta’s commitment to thinking like a grower. “Agriculture will need to increase productivity to meet the demands of the future,” Backman said. “However, our commitment goes beyond just increasing productivity. It is about increasing productivity without using more land, water or inputs.”
According to Syngenta site manager Tyson Walters, the Clinton facility has a rich history of serving the seed industry, dating back to 1936. “Syngenta is proud to be expanding its presence in Clinton, and building on its legacy here,” Walters said. “This expansion reinforces our commitment to our customers, and to central Illinois.”