Bayer ag investment

Ask any farmer and he’ll quickly list for you two universal American traits that have kept farmers in this country in the forefront of farming worldwide. Americans have an innate work ethic, he’ll say, and this country’s farmers and business people have a spirit of ingenuity and innovation that urges them to continually develop necessary new technology.

Bayer CropScience recently opened a new North Carolina facility in the heart of Research Triangle Park, or RTP, that promises to keep that front-rank technology coming. It should help keep farmers ahead of the world’s fast-growing population, too, and the increase in food demand it’ll bring.

Key Points

The new greenhouse at Research Triangle Park is state of the art.

Cutting-edge agricultural research will be pursued at the site.

Bayer research pipeline focused on weed control, new varieties, nematicides, more.

Bayer CropScience officially opened its Greenhouse 5 facility on July 20, a $20 million greenhouse that is state of the art in every respect. In it, Bayer researchers will conduct genetically modified, or GM, and non-GM trait research. It will support discovery research for molecular breeding, as well as development of data for trait deregulation.

The 60,000-square-foot building has 30,000 square feet of research greenhouse space and requires a staff of 25.

Major research hub

“We continue to expand our activities in seed traits,” says Sandra E. Peterson, chairwoman of the board of management of Bayer CropScience. “With the BioScience Innovation Center in Morrisville and the construction of the new greenhouse, the RTP area is rapidly becoming a major research hub for our company.”

David Nicholson, named the company’s new head of research and development in February, addressed the company’s current pipeline research at the opening, since much of this kind of research will be conducted in the new facility in the future. Nicholson told Carolina-Virginia Farmer in an interview that he had just returned from a variety-breeding tour that took him to see current company research around much of the country.

“Our customers have been crying out for herbicides, and that is one thing that we are working on,” he says. “We have a number of new herbicides, and the traits to go with them to introduce tolerance to our new herbicides in the crops. We also have some really interesting nematode control coming along. Nematodes are a huge problem in crops like soy, and there is not much out there that is really effective to control them.”

Bayer CropScience is the maker of LibertyLink varieties and glufosinate, as well as other crop protection chemicals and bioscience products. Nicholson notes the company’s research and development budget is about $1 billion annually.

In addition to the U.S. headquarters in RTP, the company has its new Innovation Center for research in Morrisville, its Training and Development Center in Clayton, and regional sales offices in Cary.

Learn more about the company and its products at

This article published in the September, 2012 edition of CAROLINA-VIRGINIA FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2012.