BASF, Syngenta and Bayer keep investing in the US

Bayer CropScience, BASF, and Syngenta continue to ratchet up spending on agricultural products including crop protection chemicals and new plant traits. Notably for these European companies, much of the investment is flowing to the US.

Bayer will build a plant in Mobile, Ala., to produce the herbicide glufosinate ammonium, marketed in the US as Liberty. Demand for Liberty is on the upswing, thanks to the emergence of weeds resistant to glyphosate, a widely used herbicide also known as Roundup. The facility will cost about $500 million to construct and is expected to begin production in late 2015.

In North Carolina, meanwhile, the chemical giant BASF has opened a $33 million expansion of its research facilities in Research Triangle Park. The addition includes 80,000 sq ft of office, laboratory, and greenhouse facilities dedicated to plant biotechnology and insect control research.

Syngenta recently opened an advanced crop lab at the research hub. Syngenta now plans to spend $94 million to add 200,000 sq ft of laboratory and office space. The facility will be used for discovery and development of traits that help crops tolerate climate variability and combat stresses such as drought. Syngenta plans to begin construction later this year.

Source: Chemical & Engineering News


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