Multinational biotechnology giant Monsanto Co. is bringing a small chunk of its highly influential — and controversial — seed operation to Pima County.
The company hopes to start building a facility later this year to grow corn and soybeans in at least one greenhouse on a 7-acre site in Pima County, a Monsanto spokeswoman told the Star [Aug. 20].
The main purpose will be for corn-breeding operations, which use few genetically modified organisms, Monsanto spokeswoman Christi Dixon said. But it also will do “trait integration,” which combines genetic and biotech traits, Dixon said.
Using new automated greenhouses, with robots watering and otherwise maintaining crops, the company hopes it can “better manage risks — like insect, disease and weather variables — we may otherwise encounter in open field environments,” Dixon said in an email.
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The company picked Arizona because, while greenhouses can grow things year-round in most places by blocking out the elements, . . .
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