PLANT science firm Syngenta broke ground last month on a major expansion of its corn and soybean research and development (R&D) center in Clinton, Ill.
When construction is completed by midyear, the site will be the company's largest site for conducting corn and soybean trials in North America.
At the 700-acre Clinton site, Syngenta conducts more than 144,000 soybean and 235,000 corn trials annually and houses soybean growth rooms for its North American operations. The location also includes 90 acres of nursery space for corn plants and 60 acres for soybeans.
Syngenta said the expansion project at Clinton would allow the company to bring innovations to market more quickly and would include tripling the size of its soybean growth rooms, allowing it to turn as many as four crops per year.
In addition to increasing overall site capacity, the project also involved the construction of a new grain and seed cold storage facility as well as machinery maintenance and storage buildings.
Site manager Nelson Thorp said the Clinton facility dates back to 1936, when his family started a seed business on the farm there. He said the new project represents a $12 million investment in the local economy and a continued commitment to corn and soybean R&D in the heart of the Corn Belt.
Syngenta said its goal is to provide solutions to help farmers achieve at least a 70% increase in food production by 2050 by integrating expertise in bioscience, chemistry, crop genetics and agronomy.