Bayer Opens New Cotton Breeding Station in Georgia

Growers across the Southeast region will reap the benefit of a $4.4 million, 150-acre cotton breeding facility built by Bayer in Dawson, GA. 

The grand opening of the facility, which began operating in January 2016, was celebrated October 20 during harvest of the first research crop. The facility builds on a proven history of profitable cotton varieties brought to market through Bayer's Stoneville and FiberMax brands. 

"We're so proud to be here opening this incredible new facility, as this inauguration represents a significant investment for Georgia and a clear commitment to Bayer's investment in advancing technology across cotton," said Monty Christian, Bayer vice president for U.S. Cotton Operations. "We will continue here with Bayer's proven record of delivering cotton varieties with high yield potential and high quality fiber packages, specifically through our flagship brands, Stoneville and FiberMax." 

The Southeast Cotton Breeding Station is part of Bayer's commitment to invest nearly $1 billion in the United States between 2013-2016 in new facilities and capital expansion to complement the approximately $1 billion invested globally in research and development annually. 

"For us, it is important to continue expanding our Seeds business through R&D, and this facility will bring together significant scientific and technology resources to support the advancement of the agricultural industry, specifically for cotton seed trait and plant research," said Mike Gilbert, vice president and head of Global Breeding & Trait Development for Bayer. 

The breeding and research work at the Dawson station will focus on varieties and traits that clear agronomic hurdles and enhance both efficiency and profitability for cotton growers. For the Stoneville brand, the station will continue to build a lineup of varieties adapted to the Southeast, with excellent early-season vigor and proven performance under regional pest pressures. 

Southeast industry leaders and university researchers commended Bayer's commitment to cotton while touring the facility, where harvest has started for the first crop of breeding and research plots. The facility adds to the economic impact brought by agriculture - and cotton specifically - in Georgia and the Southeast. 

The Cotton Breeding Station will employ 10 to 15 people who will work with a larger global team to promote advanced research on genetics, chemistry, and traits to provide agricultural solutions to customers around the world. In addition to the full-time employees, many area residents will be hired each year to assist with planting and harvesting activities.

Source: Cotton Grower Magazine