Future of Agribusiness Looks Bright in St. Louis

Monsanto is in the midst of a $400 million expansion at its research facility in Chesterfield, Mo. that’s expected to finish in 2017 and create 675 jobs.

St. Louis—Plant science giant Monsanto’s expansion at the Chesterfield Village Research Center is taking shape.

Chesterfield Village Research Center

Chesterfield Village Research Center

The locally-based company intends to create 675 jobs and invest more than $400 million at the research center by 2017. Plans call for the addition of 400,000 square feet of laboratory space, greenhouses and high-tech plant growth chambers. The new positions will be filled by scientists who will focus on developing new plant and seed technologies.

The research center was originally built in 1984 and reacquired from Pfizer in 2010. As it is the case with other Monsanto expansions, the project is seen as a big win for the region, which could attract more biotech firms.

Monsanto’s recent strategy focuses on two new technology areas. One called Integrated Farming Systems enables farmers to use data specific to the company’s technologies in their fields and plant according to a prescription provided by Monsanto. Another area is centered on topical seed treatment products that could potentially control viruses, kill insects and provide more weed control.

Furthermore, the company’s Climate Corporation unit has developed an in-field nitrate sensor network for farmers that will help create a digital system to protect and increase farm yield, the St. Louis Business Journal reported.

Monsanto’s expansion plans are also set to include new parts of the world, particularly Brazil and Argentina, as well as in Eastern Europe.

Image courtesy of Monsanto