Monsanto Canada will spend $14 million to expand, modernize and automate its DeKalb hybrid Roundup Ready canola seed operation in Lethbridge.
Monsanto spokesperson Trish Jordan said the new high-tech seed-processing equipment should be operational in August of 2011. The project is going to tender now, and construction is expected to start in September.
The expanded facility will allow Monsanto to handle all of its North American hybrid canola seed production at the plant located 10 kilometres east of Lethbridge. Jordan said the project will include state-of-the-art seed-cleaning equipment and expanded bulk seed-storage capacity.
The company has a seed production crew of nine employees who contract canola seed production on more than 10,000 acres in southern Alberta. In the future, it could mean the use of more canola seed production from more acres, and perhaps from more farmers under contract.
The expansion will allow Monsanto to bring all of its seed-cleaning operations under one roof. Ryan Baldwin, Monsanto’s president for seed and traits business, said the plant will help accommodate Monsanto’s growing hybrid seed sales and result in improved processing efficiencies and seed quality control.