German-based Bayer CropScience plans to construct a world-scale glufosinate-ammonium herbicide production plant near Mobile, Alabama, estimated to create about 180 jobs. The company said its new facility will contribute significantly to the company’s target of more than doubling global production capacity for its crop herbicide.
The start-up of the new plant is anticipated for the fourth quarter of 2015, in time for the 2016 growing season. “Discussions with the local authorities in Alabama are progressing well, and Bayer CropScience is confident that it will be able to initiate the next planning steps for the new facility soon,” the company said.
This week the Mobile Alabama Industrial Development Board approved almost $32 million in tax abatements as an incentive to attract the firm’s investment.
“In planning this facility, we are responding to urgent calls by farmers and agronomists for an alternative weed control technology to help combat the increasing problem of weed resistance to glyphosate-based products,” said Liam Condon, Bayer CropScience CEO. “The use of glufosinate-ammonium, marketed as Liberty herbicide and used with LibertyLink seed, continues to grow as farmers experience the powerful performance benefits of this unique system for non selective control of grass and broadleaf weeds.” He added; “The rotation of crops, herbicide tolerant traits and herbicidal modes of action are important elements of a sustainable cropping approach.”
The growth of weed resistance has developed even faster than was predicted only a short while ago, the company said. According to a 2012 Stratus Agri-Marketing survey of U.S. farmers, research has shown that nearly 50 percent of all growers surveyed confirmed the existence of glyphosate-resistant weeds on their farms, up from 34 percent of farmers surveyed in 2011.
The firm said Bayer CropScience product Liberty provides the only nonselective alternative that farmers can use to combat weeds, including glyphosate-resistant weeds, and is an asset to any integrated weed management plan. Bayer CropScience currently manufactures Liberty herbicide at production plants in Frankfurt, Germany, and Muskegon, Michigan, but the projected demand by farmers for the product is expected to outpace the existing production capacity.