The Monsanto Company of St. Louis today announced an expansion of more than 230-million dollars in Iowa that will add jobs and a new seed corn facility somewhere in northeast Iowa. The director of public affairs for Monsanto, Darren Wallis, says the company will expand its DeKalb brand seed corn plants in Boone and Grinnell.
Wallis says they’re expanding to increase the output, and in Boone where the company has been since 1975, they’re adding some driers. The company plans similar expansion for Grinnell, where they’ve had a plant since 1938. Wallis says the expansion along with the new plant will double their seedcorn production in Iowa.
Wallis says the location of the new plant in northeast Iowa will remain a secret for now. He says they are finalizing some plans for the land purchase, but says the new facility will be state-of-the-art with three high-capacity driers and three green corn receiving lines. Wallis says the facility will be able to put out 12-hundred bags of seed corn per hour. Monsanto has also expanded its operation in Ankeny.
Wallis says the Ankeny research facility was built in 1998 and is the global hub for advanced breeding and research. He says they expanded it by 22,000 square feet with new automation and robotics.
Wallis says the changes will add 80 new jobs in the facilities. Wallis says the company will also need some 1,200 seasonal workers at the facilities.
While the ethanol boom has been responsible for much of the recent expansion in the corn industry, Wallis says it is not the main factor in this expansion. Wallis says they’ve experienced a lot of growth because of ethanol, but he says the DeKalb brand has been growing in market share substantially in the last six years and the expansion is really to help them keep up with demand. Wallis says DeKalb currently has one-thousand employees in Iowa at 13 facilities.