Bayer invests $50M in plant


Bayer CropScience makes herbicides for the agriculture industry at is plant in Muskegon Township. Courtesy Bayer CropScience

A subsidiary of Bayer is planning a $50-million expansion at its herbicide plant in the region.

Last week, Bayer CropScience — which has its global headquarters in Monheim, Germany and its American headquarters in North Carolina — announced its plans to spend $50 million to expand capacity at its Muskegon Township plant, at 1740 Whitehall Rd.

The expansion will allow for the increased production of a herbicide used by the agriculture industry to combat weeds related to the production of canola, corn, cotton and soybeans.

The Muskegon expansion project will take about two years to realize, with the additional production beginning in mid 2017.

Flagship product

The expansion will allow the company, which makes crop-protection products, to increase production of the site’s flagship product, Liberty herbicide, which Bayer CropScience said is “a key component” in its “innovative LibertyLink weed-management technology.”

Globally, Bayer CropScience is in the process of doubling its Liberty herbicide production capacity.

Weed resistance

In expanding production of Liberty, Bayer CropScience said it is responding to urgent calls by farmers and agronomists for an alternative weed-control technology to help combat the rising problem of weed resistance.

“The use of Liberty herbicide, in combination with Bayer’s LibertyLink seed, continues to be in high demand by farmers, as they realize the benefits to their crops and harvests of this innovative weed-management technology,” said Michael van Nooy, head of global active ingredient operations, Bayer CropScience.

Investment in Muskegon

“This investment is good news not only for growers, but for our Muskegon plant and the greater Muskegon area as well,” said Steve Smythe, plant manager, Bayer CropScience's Muskegon operations.

Smythe said the expansion “helps secure our position as an important part of our company’s global manufacturing network,” noting it secures the jobs of the more than 70 employees working at the Muskegon facility.

The Bayer CropScience facility completed a similar $15-million expansion in 2010.

Bayer’s Muskegon operations sit on 40 developed acres, which include two production units and one formulation unit, surrounded by 400 acres of woods and wetlands.

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