Syngenta on Aug. 12 held a grand re-opening for its newly expanded, $11.2 million research and development (R&D) and seed production facility in Woodland, Calif.
The company says the expansion demonstrates Syngenta’s commitment to R&D and seed production in California.
The Woodland site is home to important cereals, corn, and vegetable R&D, and vegetable seed production. Significant emphasis is placed on research for cucurbits (including watermelons, melons, and squash) and its role as host to the Global Cucurbits Center of Excellence.
At the event, California Department of Food and Agriculture Undersecretary Jim Houston said private investments in R&D infrastructure are critical to the state’s economic development.
“Agriculture is a source of stability and strength in the California economy,” Houston stated. “That’s why private investments in research and development, like the one we are celebrating here today, are so important.”
He noted that California’s $46.4 billion agricultural industry generates at least $100 billion in related economic activity.
“This enormous achievement is possible through a combination of tradition and innovation that has secured California's status as the most productive agricultural state for more than 50 years,” Houston said.
Syngenta’s expansion in Woodland includes new greenhouses and specialized plant growth environments, a new plant pathology laboratory, and expanded work space for research and development activity.
Research conducted at Woodland will enable the company to bring innovations to market faster.
During peak season, the site has approximately 110 full-time employees and seasonal workers, an increase of more than 35 percent related to the expansion.
Product development leadership
Sean Knapp, Syngenta’s North America head of Vegetables Seed Product Marketing, said the Woodland expansion demonstrates the company’s global leadership in product development.
“The challenges associated with feeding a growing global population in an environmentally sustainable way require that we think differently about how we help growers create efficiencies and improve their productivity,” Knapp said.
This facility – and the Global Cucurbits Center of Excellence located at the site – will provide innovation and collaboration across a wide variety of crops, including cereals, corn, cucurbits, and tomatoes.
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Syngenta says its Global Cucurbits Center of Excellence represents the company’s strong emphasis on ‘thinking like a grower,’ targeting individual farming challenges, and taking a more holistic approach to developing and delivering integrated crop solutions.
The expanded facility allows Syngenta to bring together its entire North American cucurbit R&D leadership under one roof.