CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA — Bayer CropScience on Oct. 1 celebrated the grand opening of its major expansion of the canola seed processing plant in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. With significant upgrades to the building and seed cleaning facilities, Bayer CropScience said it is confirming its commitment to offer Canadian growers the highest quality InVigor canola seed.

The grand opening celebration was originally planned for the spring. However, the event was postponed due to an unfortunate frost occurrence in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which triggered the need for reseeding in the affected areas. The Lethbridge plant helped to produce thousands of bags of InVigor Hybrid canola seed for growers in record time.

The Lethbridge facility was built in 2006 with the goal to support North American canola growers. This expansion is a C$15.6 million investment, doubling the footprint of the plant in order to accommodate a significant increase of its processing capacity, and making this facility the largest dedicated canola seed processing and seed storage facility in the Bayer network.

The expansion of the Lethbridge facility is essential to Bayer CropScience’s ability to support the increasing commercial canola acreage, the company said.

“Canadian growers, especially in western Canada, are growing 20 million acres of canola every year to meet global demand. Through the expansion of the Lethbridge canola seed processing plant, we are able to deepen our commitment to Canadian agriculture by ensuring that we continue to provide growers with the best canola seed varieties and technology,” said Al Driver, president and chief executive officer of Bayer CropScience Canada.

The Lethbridge facility is a 43,000-square-foot building with an additional five acres of storage bins and conveyances. Moreover, the expansion has brought the processing capacity to over 30,000 tonnes per year.

“The improvements to our facility in Lethbridge not only enables us to meet today’s market demands, but also allows us to further improve the quality of our InVigor canola seed,” said Marcus Weidler, head of seeds, Canada for Bayer CropScience. “This is a significant project for Bayer CropScience and the Lethbridge community which we are thrilled to be a part of. By doubling our processing capacity to over 30,000 tonnes, this plant will support our market demands today and in the future. We are excited to continue to grow in Lethbridge.”

As a result of the expansion, the Lethbridge plant now employs 53 full-time and seasonal positions, making this facility a significant employer in the agricultural industry of southern Alberta.