Corteva opens expanded crop breeding research facility near Tavistock

$6 million project combines corn, soybean and wheat research

The new $6 million, 53,000 sq. foot research facility is near Tavistock, Ont.

Corteva Agriscience’s new research facility at its Woodstock Research and Development Centre brings several crop breeding programs under one roof.

The 53,000 square foot facility near Tavistock how houses the company’s Ontario corn breeding programs, one soybean breeding program and a future winter wheat breeding program. The facility was recently officially opened.

Why it matters: Modern facilities allow for research and development companies to grow and advance their products with up-to-date technology.

When Corteva was formed in late 2017, the corn breeding program at the research farm was combined with the heritage Pioneer soybean breeding team and the Dow Agrosciences corn and soybean breeding programs.

“The merger brought a lot of people together,” says Sheila Murphy, research operations lead with Corteva Agriscience. “We needed space for the people, we needed space for the equipment, and we needed space for the technology.” 

Sheila Murphy. photo: Supplied

The $6 million investment in Corteva’s research pipeline is part of company efforts to ensure a swift and consistent flow of dependable, market-ready products for Canadian farmers.  

The Corteva Agriscience global canola research facility remains in Georgetown. The new Woodstock facility brings together the heritage Pioneer soybean and corn breeding facility and a heritage Dow breeding facility. 

Murphy says it was important to remain in the same area. 

“We can continue testing our [products and hybrids] in our own backyard, so the decisions that are made when we are adapting products to our commercial pipeline have been done in Ontario.” 

The infrastructure investment also includes renovation of an existing facility that will focus on advancements in seed-applied technologies, designed to provide seed treatment solutions for various crop challenges.

“We don’t grow corn and soybeans. We grow data,” says Murphy. “The better we are at farming data, the better information we have to make decisions with. By having space for changing technologies, we are more efficient and stronger as one unit.” 

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