HERMISTON -- DuPont Pioneer announced plans Wednesday to increase production capacity at its Hermiston corn seed production plant -- a move that will add 18 new jobs.
The expansion, expected to break ground later this year and to be completed in 2014, will double the capacity of the current parent corn and pre-commercial hybrid seed corn facility.
"We're excited to be growing here," said Les Heeringa, location manager, in a press release. "This location has the growing conditions necessary for certain products in addition to a very supportive community, which has been vital."
Upon completion, the expansion will help Pioneer to deliver corn seed products to customers around the globe, the release said.
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The DuPont Pioneer expansion in Hermiston is good news for the state, and good news for Eastern Oregon's agriculture economy, said Gov. John Kitzhaber.
"The new jobs created by this expansion pay far above Umatilla County's current median income and are exactly the kinds of jobs I'm working to bring to every part of Oregon," he stated.
The company's decision to open in Hermiston and expand pleased Hermiston officials.
"This commitment to expand operations in Hermiston also highlight's our excellent climate for growing businesses which provide these types of good family-wage jobs through collaboration with our state and local partners," said Hermiston Mayor Dave Drotzmann.
Funding for the project includes a performance agreement from the Governor's Strategic Reserve Fund; strategic infrastructure investments from the city of Hermiston; Port of Umatilla; Umatilla County; and an Enterprise Zone property tax abatement from the city and county.
Pioneer first established a presence in the area with its parent seed production facility in 2009 and is one of more than four dozen production locations in North America.
DuPont Pioneer is the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability.