Corn breeding facility opens in Flora - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Corn breeding facility opens in Flora

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By Bert Case - bio | email

FLORA, Miss. (WLBT) - A new corn breeding research facility officially opened Tuesday morning in Flora.

The Monsanto Company is researching and developing a sort of "super corn".

As many as 50 people will be brought in during corn growing season to test the new hybrid seeds in the $2.4 million facility.

The new building is located on J.W. Richardson Drive in the Flora Industrial Park.

Corn seeds will be experimented with at the research facility, to make them more healthy and have greater yield per acre.

The goal is to come up with a super corn that will double yield.

The cost of the seed would go up as it creates more value for the farmer.

There was a big turnout for the official ribbon cutting for the new Monsanto Facility.

"Our objective in the end, is to develop a new corn products, for farmers in the south," said Mark Messmer, North American Commercial Corn Breeding Director. "Trying to find seeds that will grow, that will be more stress tolerant, hopefully disease resistant, and hopefully more consistently higher yields."

Dr. Lester Spell, Mississippi's outgoing Commissioner of Agriculture, talked about what the Monsanto Facility means to Mississippi.

"This facility, right here has the potential for really elevating Mississippi to world class food production," said Dr. Spell.

Congressman Gregg Harper, who represents Mississippi's 3rd District, was there for the official opening.

"It's really exciting to have Monsanto make this investment here," Congressman Harper said.

"Really they are the leader in research and development, and to add corn to their portfolio here in Mississippi, just like they have done with soy and cotton, it's going to be very important to this area and the entire State of Mississippi."

Once they develop the seed, they plant it in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas and see how it grows.

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