Pioneer backed for Ont. canola seed processing plant

DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred seed business has picked up $1 million in provincial funding toward the cost of building a “state of the art” parent seed processing facility in southwestern Ontario.

Pioneer announced in September last year that it planned a “multi-million-dollar” facility in the Morris-Turnberry area south of Wingham, about 100 km west of Guelph.

The company said at the time that the new site would be a “multi-crop” facility handling, for example, canola and soybeans. The province last week described it as a “canola seed processing facility.”

As a supplier of parent seed, rather than commercial seed, the Wingham plant in any case could be expected to come in at a smaller size than Pioneer’s Chatham, Ont. or Lethbridge, Alta. seed plants.

That said, the Morris-Turnberry plant is expected to create 14 full-time jobs and “up to 100” seasonal positions, and double Pioneer’s parent seed production capacity, the province said.

The new facility is also expected to help Pioneer “increase canola sales across North America and around the world,” the province added.

The company said last year that the Morris-Turnberry plant is expected to be up and operating late in 2011.

The province’s funding, flowing through its Rural Economic Development (RED) program, is expected to go toward “related engineering and equipment costs,” company president Ian Grant said in the province’s Aug. 18 release.

Other recent RED grants in Ontario’s crop processing sector have included:

  • $750,000 for food processor Bolthouse Farms, toward a processing facility for Ontario carrots at Wheatley, about 60 km southeast of Windsor, in partnership with local vegetable producer Nature’s Finest, creating up to 100 new jobs;
  • $1.56 million and $636,396 for two projects at Bonduelle Ontario, a vegetable processor at Tecumseh, just east of Windsor, including new “state of the art” technology allowing the company to “process more vegetables at a much faster pace;” and
  • $210,000 for St. David’s Cold Storage, working with area cherry processor Niagara Harvest, to add 3,500 square feet of freezer storage space, thus making storage “affordable” for local fruit producers, as well as to upgrade Niagara’s cherry processing line and set up tracing systems that would identify where fruit was grown.

Related story:

Pioneer Hi-Bred plans new parent seed facility, Sept. 8, 2010

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