Monsanto inaugurates new $20M smart greenhouse at Juana Diaz site
The Monsanto Company unveiled its first phase of the Monsanto Caribe expansion project by inaugurating a new smart greenhouse at the Juana Diaz site.
This new facility is the result of a $20 million investment and “the company’s commitment to continue to grow and invest in Puerto Rico,” executives said.
“We are very proud and happy to share with all of our stakeholders the harvest of all of our hard work and dedication, our new smart greenhouse at the Monsanto Caribe site in Juana Diaz,” said Rosa Guerrero, site lead at Monsanto Caribe during the inaugural event.
“This new facility will allow us to implement even more of modern agriculture efficiencies in our procedures, to help Monsanto deliver better and faster solutions to our farmer customers,” she said.
“Our goal at Monsanto is to provide smart and sustainable solutions to farmers around the world. That’s why we are excited to open the smart greenhouse in Juana Diaz today. This smart greenhouse enables researchers to produce high quality seeds for our research pipeline while using fewer resources,” said Mike Graham, vice president of Global Plant Breeding for Monsanto Company.
The new smart greenhouse features climate control technology to regulate the temperature and light, retractable ceiling shades, irrigation, and pest control applications. This technology collects data on how these environmental conditions are performing, and even helps Monsanto create new environmental conditions as researchers and personnel continue to learn from the data.
Examples of this technology includes automated irrigation systems, light and temperature sensors, automated temperature control, and LED lights to optimize plant growth.
However, the most significant achievement can be found in the topic of sustainability. The combination and integration of these climate technologies allows Monsanto to implement even more modern agriculture efficiencies into their procedures, to help them deliver faster, better and more sustainable solutions.
The greenhouse also helps Monsanto to better implement integrated pest management practices, and effectively protect crops against environmental factors, such as excessive sunlight, rain, and drought stress, company officials explained.
“We are excited to continue to be a part of the Juana Diaz community and are committed to being the best place to work in Puerto Rico,” shared Melanie C. Behlmann, Monsanto’s Global Plant Breeding and Community Engagement Lead.
The new greenhouse facility features seven rooms, which extend approximately five acres on Monsanto’s premises in Juana Diaz. It is the result of a $18 million capital investment in construction, and an additional $2 million for improvements in electrical infrastructure.
This $20 million investment also includes a new seed processing building expected to be completed by late 2018.
Agriculture Secretary Carlos Flores-Ortega, who participated in the inaugural event said: “The seed production industry in Puerto Rico has shown high efficiency and maintains one of the highest return-of-investment within of the agricultural sector. It should be noted that this industry has shown to be at the forefront in the implementation of science and technology in agriculture, both in the Island and worldwide.”
“These new facilities represent both Monsanto’s commitment to advancing modern agricultural science and technology, as well as our commitment to contribute toward Puerto Rico’s economic and technological development,” Graham said.