Seed World

Valent Expands North American Discovery and Development Program

Valent U.S.A. Corporation announced today an investment plan to accelerate its agricultural research and development program in North America.  Through a series of strategic facility expansions, Valent will accelerate discovery and early development testing for its growing portfolio of integrated solutions for plant protection and enhancement.  These investments come on the heels of a wide-scale global research and development investment announced earlier this month by the parent company of Valent, Sumitomo Chemical.
The Valent Midsouth Agricultural Research Center (MSARC) in Leland, Mississippi, will expand to include the addition of new compound characterization facilities.  Boasting over 8,000 square feet of environmentally-controlled laboratory and greenhouse space, these facilities will support year-round bioassay screening for the Valent conventional and biorational pipeline.
In addition to the expanded facilities in the Midsouth, Valent announced the investment in a new research center near Champaign, Illinois.  The Valent Midwest Agricultural Research Center (MWARC) is scheduled to open in December 2016, and will become a center of excellence in row crop research and agronomic training for the Midwest.
The MWARC will feature dedicated research farmland, earmarked for commercial-scale testing of new formulations and Valent conventional and biorational pipeline molecules.  In addition, the MWARC will feature a commercial facility, housing a training conference center, including a seed treatment demonstration lab.  This hands-on learning center will be equipped with state-of-the-art custom seed treatment equipment furnished by USC, LLC, a leading international custom seed treatment equipment manufacturer.  A 2,000 square foot greenhouse will be added to the facility in 2017, to support year-round product development.
“Expansion of the Valent agricultural research centers is a core component of the global strategy to accelerate our speed of development,” said Eric Johnson, vice president of technology for Valent U.S.A. Corporation. “The state-of-the-art facilities in North America will complement the construction of new research facilities in South America by Sumitomo Chemical, creating contra-testing opportunities between our regions and expanding our discovery and development capacity overall.”
Matt Plitt, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Valent U.S.A. Corporation, explained that the growth in the Valent discovery and development program reflects the growth of the Valent business in North America and continued commitment to the plant protection and enhancement field.  “Valent has set a record pace for the growth of our U.S. business, and we plan to continue that pace by investing in our discovery and development program,” Plitt noted.  “This is an exciting time for Valent as we expand our business to bring more agronomic solutions to our customers.”