Pioneer H-Bred plans new parent seed facility

DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred seed business has bought land in southwestern Ontario for a new "multi-million-dollar" parent seed production facility.

The company on Wednesday described the planned facility, which will serve its markets across the country, as a "key component" of the investments it’s making in Canada.

Construction is to start later this month on land the company purchased in the Morris-Turnberry area south of Wingham, about 100 km west of Guelph.

The company isn’t yet able to provide specifics on total cost or square footage, but said it expects the new plant to be up and operating in late 2011.

A company spokesperson said Wednesday the new site will be a "multi-crop" facility handling, for example, canola and soybeans.

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

"Pioneer is growing," Ian Grant, the U.S.-based seed company’s president in Canada, reiterated when speaking of its investments in a release Wednesday.

"We’re expanding our production, research and testing facilities as well as the teams in our plants, in our labs and in the field."

Among its other recent investments, Pioneer in June opened an expanded seed quality testing lab at Chatham.

Last week the company’s Iowa head office announced plans to expand its IMPACT research program across North America, a move it said would support a 50 per cent increase in the number of experimental products Pioneer can test for the 2011 growing season.

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