(Nov. 6, 2:30 p.m.) Carrot and onion seeds are the driving force behind a planned $20 million expansion at Nunhems’ Parma, Idaho, U.S. headquarters.

The main reason for the expansion is the growth of the carrot and onion seed business at the facility, said Ron Amarel, managing director of operations for Nunhems. The facility processes, packages and stores about 28 different seed varieties at different times, but specializes in onions, carrots, cucumbers, leeks, lettuce, tomatoes, watermelon and endive. More than 80% of Nunhems’ carrot business goes through the Parma facility.

Amarel said the $20 million will go to the building itself, for processing and cold storage areas, the equipment and the infrastructure it will take to upgrade the facility. Shane Roe, facilities manager, and Stacy Woodruff, head of processing, were heavily involved in the development of the master plan.

“Shane is responsible for making the expansion happen,” Amarel said. “Stacy is the one who will use the facility once it’s complete. We’re expanding on the processing side, and he’s in charge of that.”

The Parma facility was on 19 acres when it was acquired from Sunseeds in 1997 and became Nunhems. After the expansion, Amarel said it will be close to 60 acres.

Nunhems is Monheim, Germany-based Bayer CropScience’s vegetable seed business, with world headquarters in The Netherlands.

A groundbreaking ceremony was Oct. 29 on the recently purchased 28 acres adjacent to the company’s existing facility. Joachim Schneider, head of the bioscience business unit at Bayer CropScience, and Douwe Zijp, chief executive officer of Nunhems Netherlands BV, were on hand during the groundbreaking.

Nunhems has five research and development facilities in the U.S. The Parma site is one of the three major hubs the company operates worldwide. The others include the headquarters in The Netherlands and a facility in India.