Monsanto Company’s board of directors gave final approval for a capital expenditure to expand the company’s Luling, La., manufacturing site. The expansion, a $975 million capital investment, is expected to be operational in three years and enable the company to deliver a strong dicamba formulation pipeline to growers and further strengthen its integrated solutions platform.

Monsanto is investing in dicamba manufacturing at the site to support the launch of its Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System. Upon anticipated completion of the construction in mid-2019, the Luling facility is expected to supply 25 to 35 percent of the fully mature demand for the dicamba product, a key component of the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System.

“With more than 60 years of commitment to the Luling community, we are proud to move forward with this facility expansion and play a role in the economic well-being of Southern Louisiana,” said Brett Begemann, Monsanto President and Chief Operating Officer. “Our Luling facility’s unique geographic location within our manufacturing network will help provide our farmer customers across the Americas with better access to a critical weed management tool.”

Weeds represent a key pest to agriculture operations around the world and limit crops of much-needed nutrients, sunlight and access to available water resources. Farmers continue to express a need for these critical technologies to help manage tough-to-control weeds and have better harvests. There is no single solution when it comes to crop protection and dicamba is one tool farmers can use to complement other plant protection practices.

During the next decade, the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System is expected to launch across the United States, Brazil, Latin America South and other world areas. Ensuring an adequate and cost-effective supply of dicamba chemistry is critical to successfully meeting growing customer demand, which could represent 250 million acres of farmland opportunity across the Americas.

The additions to the Luling facility are expected to add about 100 full-time employees and 20 contractors to the site. The Louisiana Economic Development also estimates the project will result in an additional 450 new indirect jobs in the state, for a total of about 550 new jobs.

“Agribusiness and chemistry represent two of the most important business sectors in our state, and this major manufacturing investment by Monsanto strengthens each of these key industries,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “We’re encouraged by Monsanto’s vote of confidence in Louisiana as a great place to do business and a vital part of its manufacturing operations. Above all, we’re delighted that hundreds of existing jobs will be secured by this expansion, and that we will grow the workforce of Monsanto with new career opportunities for more Louisiana families. Along the way, we will be supporting farmers across the state and our nation with products made here in St. Charles Parish.”