West Sacramento, Calif., facility
West Sacramento, Calif., facility

As part of continued growth and consolidation, Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based Bayer CropScience opened a new research and development site Sept. 3 in West Sacramento, Calif.

The facility is just part of a capital growth plan where Monheim, Germany-based Bayer will invest nearly $1 billion in the United States between 2013-16, according to a news release. Much of the funding will be used to ramp up research and development and to expand supply of its top crop protection brands.

Worldwide, Bayer plans to invest a total of about $3.3 billion during the same period.

The West Sacramento site, which also serves as the global headquarters of Bayer CropScience's Biologics Business, has the capacity to house up to 300 employees. It also incorporates employees and work conducted by Davis-based AgraQuest, which Bayer acquired in 2012.

The roughly $ 80 million facility is on 10 acres of land and features a 100,000-square-foot building and a 35,000-square-foot pilot plant to support research and development of biological crop protection products. Another 30,000-square-foot building houses vegetable seeds research.

The campus also includes a 2,000-square-foot greenhouse and 5 acres of land for future greenhouses.

In addition to building its U.S. research and development network, Bayer is investing in pesticide production capacity.

The company is expanding facilities in Muskegon, Mich., and Kansas City, Mo., that produce glufosinate herbicide, marketed as Liberty and Rely. It also has begun building a new plant to produce the herbicide in Mobile, Ala.

"The single biggest investment item in the USA is our planned capacity expansion of Liberty herbicide. This is a strong signal to the market as Liberty is the only non-selective herbicide that controls glyphosate-resistant weeds," Jim Blome, president and chief executive officer for Bayer CropScience LP and North American head of crop protection, said in the release. "Two-thirds of our planned investments in the United States between 2013 and 2016 are intended to expand our production capacities.”