Syngenta expanding corn production plant in Phillips
Plant Manager Bill Hunter stands near the sized seed bins inside the corn conditioning tower Wednesday at Syngenta Seeds. Construction on a $63 million expansion is under way at the Syngenta Seeds plant on Highway 34 in Phillips. The expansion, which is scheduled for completion in time for the 2013 harvest, will significantly increase production capacity at the seed corn production facility.
By Robert Pore, The Independent
Phillips " Syngenta has announced it will be begin a $63 million expansion to its corn production facility in Phillips.
Construction is set to begin in June and is anticipated to be complete in time for the 2013 harvest. The plant is on Highway 34 in
According to Bill Hunter, Phillips plant manager for Syngenta, once complete, the Phillips corn production facility expansion will result in a substantial increase in total plant capacity and will allow the company to contract for 5,500 additional acres of seed corn production.
"We are very excited about this expansion and the opportunities this will bring to our
The site expansion includes:
Acquisition of approximately 42 acres of land.
New green corn receiving facility.
Harvest complex additional single pass reversing dryer capacity.
Significant increase in bulk seed storage.
New conditioning tower.
"Syngenta is committed to delivering the highest quality product to our customers," said Clayton Osburn, head of corn operations for Syngenta. "The growth of our Phillips,
Hunter said Syngenta is expanding its corn and soybean production throughout
"The expansion of the Phillips plant meets the corn side of that strategy," he said.
The history of the presence of a seed corn facility in Phillips goes back to the late 1940s, when Prairie Valley Hybrid constructed a plant there. Over the years, the facility has continued to grow through a number of different owners. Syngenta has owned the facility since 2000.
Hunter said many of the acres around the plant have been contracted with area farmers to grow seed corn since the 1950s, giving the company a strong area presence.
"We are still using a lot of the same growers, whether it is father or son or grandson, from when this site was first started," Hunter said.
Because of the availability of irrigation in south
Hunter said the No. 1 reason there is a strong seed corn industry presence in south
"Access to irrigation is huge, along with consistency of yield and a reliable supply," he said. "If we are going to produce the good seed that our customers want, we have to be able to do that consistently and that is something that happens in
Currently, Hunter said, the Phillips plant handles seed corn production from about 11,000 acres within a 30-mile radius of the plant.
"We use growers mainly in
Last year, those five counties produced 160 million bushels of corn, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Because of the company's strong relationship with area growers, access to available land for plant expansion, high-yielding corn, and a reliable supply of high-quality seed, Hunter said, Syngenta felt that "it just made sense to do the expansion here."
"Corn demand has been high and it will continue to be high, so we need to provide what our customers need," Hunter said.
He said the distribution area for the Phillips plant is most of the western
"We are shipping to a pretty wide region from this site alone," Hunter said.
He said the plant currently employs 28 people and the expansion will add more workers, but that number has yet to be determined.
"Not only will it add to the full-time head count, but it also adds seasonal workers and will add additional grower base and will add detasseling workers and trucking to what we do today," Hunter said.
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