Delta and Pine Land Company, the market leader in transgenic cotton varieties, has announced the purchase of a research facility in nearby Winterville, Miss., and a planned expansion of its cotton research facilities in Scott, Miss. The investments come as the company gears up to develop more varieties with new value-added technologies and for further breakthroughs in genetics and biotechnology.

The expansion plans at D&PL's world headquarters in Scott call for building four greenhouses, nearly doubling the greenhouse space at the facility. Additional greenhouse space is also available at the facility being purchased in Winterville, which combines labs with production acreage for a uniquely strong product development location. These investments are expected to cost approximately $2 million and ultimately lead to the creation of several new positions.

“Cotton is our core business and we are committed to accelerating our ability to develop and introduce innovations in this crop,” according to Murray Robinson, company president and CEO. “For the last several years we have continually increased research and development in technology in order to remain in the industry's leadership position.”

The facility investments are at or near the company's headquarters in the Mississippi Delta area, according to Bill Hugie, D&PL's vice president of research.

“As we move further into molecular breeding and new transgenic traits, expansion offers us the ability to more quickly seize opportunities,” Hugie says. “We will be able to significantly increase efforts as we employ and incorporate the latest technologies in the labs and greenhouses. This is augmented by almost 200 acres on which we can plant and field test new varieties and new technologies.”

Robinson adds that research and development components are central to the company's strategic plan saying, “We are actively pursuing new technologies that will be beneficial to our customers. We have been instrumental in introducing most of the recent breakthroughs to cotton farmers and by working with a number of partners, we are poised to bring even greater value to customers through the seed.”