Marana, Ariz.– To further its global commitment of providing growers with the most innovative, sustainable and technically-advanced agricultural solutions, the Crop Science Division of Bayer has opened its new smart, state-of-the-art, automated greenhouse facility in Marana, Wednesday, March 4, 2020.
The 10-acre Marana Greenhouse facility located at 9475 N Sanders Road in Marana, includes two green houses separated by administrative offices, and is the first of its kind for the company and the most technically advanced. The facility opened with 90 employees which is expected to become 120 this year. The approximately $100 million state-of the-art facility will serve as a global product design center for corn, the only crop to be grown there. Additionally, the Marana facility will capitalize on innovation advancements in proprietary seed chipping, advanced marker technology, automation and data science.
“With our new Marana greenhouses, Bayer is reimagining the way plant breeding is done and setting the standard for environmental sustainability,” said Bob Reiter, Head of Research and Development for Crop Science at Bayer. “Meeting the unique challenges that farmers face requires different ways of thinking and working, and this new innovative facility is one of the many ways Bayer will deliver on its commitments to farmers.”
The Marana greenhouses, which occupies 300,000-square-feet (6.8 acres) of growing space, are designed for the sustainable use of inputs throughout the research process. Water used for crops will be recycled, which helps preserve precious desert water supplies, 100 percent of harvested materials will be used for compost and beneficial insects will be used to reduce pesticide applications.
By locating the Marana Greenhouse facility in the Arizona desert instead of the midwestern section of the United States where corn is traditionally grown, more days of warmth and sunlight will allow researchers to maintain plants year-round, enabling three to four corn crop cycles annually. Also, by utilizing the controlled environment of the greenhouses, the breeding process comes indoors which eliminates crop exposure to adverse weather conditions and prevents delays in new seed development. Growing conditions can be customized to simulate various climate conditions around the world.
“Every investment in innovation is an investment in more sustainable agriculture for the next generation, and the effects travel far beyond one site,” added Reiter. “The corn hybrids developed here, under diverse growing environments and weather scenarios, will bring innovation to growers in every part of the world.”
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2019, the Group employed around 104,000 people and had sales of 43.5 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.9 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.3 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
To view video of the Marana Ceremony and greenhouse tour, go here: https://vimeo.com/395232145/ccc62ef571