Monsanto Company announced plans to begin construction of a new, state-of-the-art cotton seed processing facility in Lubbock, Texas. In cooperation with the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA), construction of the new facility is expected to begin in March 2016 and be completed in the second half of calendar year 2017.
The new Lubbock site represents a $140 million capital investment and is expected to employ 40 full-time personnel. The site will be established as Monsanto's primary U.S. hub for all commercial cotton seed processing operations - to include cleaning, treating and bagging of cotton seed - while existing processing facilities will transition to support storage and warehousing, pre-commercial operations and research in various parts of the Cotton Belt.
"Bringing people, processes and technology together at a new, state-of-the-art cotton facility in Lubbock will boost collaboration and efficiency within our manufacturing organization," said Dave Penn, cotton manufacturing lead at Monsanto. "Furthermore, its geographic location in Lubbock, Texas, will allow for better alignment with the cotton industry and help us better serve customers across the Cotton Belt."
In October 2015, Monsanto announced a number of strategic actions to help drive greater scale in its business and further enhance its overall operations. Location of the new hub facility, Monsanto's established relationship with LEDA and the opportunity to leverage new production technology factored into the decision to consolidate and optimize its U.S. commercial cotton seed processing operations.
"Advanced technology at the new hub facility in Lubbock will allow for better data capture, and automating processes will improve both our manufacturing effectiveness and the safety of our personnel," said Penn. "This creates value that we can pass on to our customers."
Existing cotton seed processing facilities in Arizona, Mississippi and Texas will continue to support manufacturing operations until summer 2017, at which point they will transition to support storage and warehousing, pre-commercial operations or research. Manufacturing employees who are offered the opportunity to relocate will also have the option to receive a severance package in the event they choose not to relocate. All remaining affected employees will be offered enhanced benefits under Monsanto's Separation Plan.
"Monsanto remains committed to treating employees who are involved in these changes with compassion and respect, and that will continue," said Penn. "Our cotton seed processing facilities in Mississippi, Arizona and Texas have been a part of their respective communities for many years, and that too will continue as those sites transition to support either research or manufacturing operations at the new hub facility in Lubbock.
"Monsanto is proud to be part of the Lubbock community," added Penn. "As we prepare to break ground on this new facility, that partnership will help us bring better technology and greater efficiency to our operations and pass that value to farmers across the Cotton Belt as they meet the daunting task of feeding and clothing our ever-growing world."