The Marana greenhouse facility will serve as a global product design centre for corn


The Marana site features seven acres of greenhouses (Credit: Bayer AG)

Bayer, a German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company, has opened a smart, advanced and automated greenhouse facility in Marana, Arizona of the US.

Developed with an investment of around $100m, the technically advanced Marana greenhouse facility will serve as a global product design centre for corn, which is the only crop grown in the region.

Details of Marana greenhouse facility

The new facility will also use advancements in seed chipping, advanced marker technology, automation and data science to develop sustainable agricultural solutions.

Occupying a growing space of 300,000ft², the Marana greenhouses have been designed for the sustainable use of inputs across the research process.

The water used for crops will be recycled, enabling to better preserve desert water supplies. The complete harvested materials will be used for compost, while beneficial insects will help minimise pesticide applications.

The desert conditions, as well as more days of warmth and sunlight in Arizona, will help researchers to maintain plants across the year and produce three to four corn crop cycles per annum.

Bayer crop science research and development head Bob Reiter said: “With our new Marana greenhouses, Bayer is reimagining the way plant breeding is done and setting the standard for environmental sustainability.

“Meeting the unique challenges that farmers face requires different ways of thinking and working, and this new innovative facility is one of the many ways Bayer will deliver on its commitments to farmers.”

In February this year, French biotech company Meiogenix has collaborated with Bayer to boost the development of advanced plant breeding and genome editing technologies.

Under the research collaboration, the companies will focus on delivering required plant health and nutrition improvements to food crops to help farmers grow enhanced plant varieties. The move will help farmers to provide the types of foods, as per the consumer requirements.