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DuPont Pioneer to expand its headquarter operationsqrcode

Nov. 20, 2012

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Nov. 20, 2012

DuPont Pioneer proposes investing $50.4 million in new office, lab and greenhouse space in Johnston, one of several recent expansions for the growing seed company.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board will consider awarding state tax credits to Pioneer and two other companies today. Pioneer seeks up to $4.4 million in tax credits, based on capital investment and high-quality job creation.

Local economic development leaders say the newest project is expected to create 100 jobs that pay an average of $87,693 annually.

"Our success in farmers' fields has led to more jobs in our Iowa labs and around the world," said Jane Slusark, a Pioneer spokeswoman. "We continue to see agriculture as a bright spot in today's economy."

Pioneer, with about one-third of the North American corn and soybean seed market, is in an intense battle with seed giants such as Monsanto and Syngenta in a never-ending struggle to increase market share. Farmers want higher yields to fulfill growing global demand for food, livestock feed and ethanol.

Pioneer has invested heavily in research. In January, the company opened a $40 million research facility at its Johnston campus and hired about 400 scientists.

The company also is investing $32 million to remodel and double the size of existing research greenhouse facilities and add an insectary. That project, now under construction, will add more than 100 jobs.

Altogether, Pioneer has hired 1,400 workers in Iowa over the past five years, bringing employment in the state to 3,400 and 2,800 in central Iowa.

"The company has grown extensively in the community," said Jim Sanders, Johnston's city administrator. "We've been very fortunate."

The city plans to rebate to Pioneer an estimated $4.2 million of its property taxes over five years.

With its latest proposal, Pioneer would invest $13 million in construction and equipment, spend $9.4 million to lease space, and invest an estimated $28 million on research and development, documents to the state economic development agency show.

Pioneer expects to lease 180,000 square feet of new office and lab space and build 39,000 square feet of greenhouse space.


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