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Published April 02, 2010, 12:00 AM

Monsanto expanding its West Fargo facility

Monsanto is expanding its West Fargo facility at 304 Center St. and converting it from a soybean seed distribution facility into an Asgrow soybean seed production facility.

By: Tracy Frank, INFORUM

Monsanto is expanding its West Fargo facility at 304 Center St. and converting it from a soybean seed distribution facility into an Asgrow soybean seed production facility.

The multimillion-dollar expansion is expected to add 20 full-time and temporary jobs to the 10 full-time employees now at the site.

“This seed production facility is very important for our farmers,” said North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven. “Cass County is the No. 1 county in the nation in producing soybeans.”

The plant was a sunflower seed production facility until August 2009, when Monsanto, an agricultural company based in St. Louis, sold its sunflower business to Syngenta.

Since then, it has been a soybean seed distribution facility, which ships bags of seed to farmers.

With the planned upgrades, seed will be conditioned to get it suitable to plant by sorting it, treating it and bagging it before distribution to farmers, said Nick Weber, Monsanto public affairs media manager.

The West Fargo site expansion is a critical part of the company’s strategic direction as a seeds-and-traits business, said Mark Martino, Monsanto’s vice president of seeds and traits manufacturing.

“This is one of the best growing environments for those relatively short maturity soybeans, and so it made it a perfect choice,” he said.

North Dakota and the Red River Valley are important soybean sales and production regions for Monsanto, a news release said.

Monsanto expects to contract with more than 80

production growers within a 100-mile radius of Fargo. That economic impact to local farmers producing soybeans for Monsanto is estimated at $20 million annually.

“This new facility will amplify the growth and viability of the soybean industry in North Dakota and Minnesota,” said Tim Flakoll, North Dakota state senator and Senate Agriculture Committee chairman. “This type of development will not only produce construction and ongoing jobs but will also put money in the pockets of our farmers, which will help feed our economy.”

West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern said the expansion is good news for the city.

The expansion should be complete in December.

The facility will not emit an odor, Weber said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526

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