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EL PASO — A consolidation of Central Illinois facilities will allow Beck’s Hybrids to expand its El Paso facility, offering staff and area farmers better training and education, said the company’s president.

Beck’s, a family-owned and operated seed company based in Atlanta, Ind., will relocate the Practical Farm Research site from Downs to El Paso by the end of March, said Scott Beck. The PFR site conducts research to find the best strategies for planting, improving plant health and increasing yields, according to the company’s website.

Officials declined to comment on what savings the consolidation would bring to the company.

“By consolidating facilities, farmers will now have access to our agronomic PFR program, product testing, distribution and sales support all at one location in Central Illinois," Beck said. 

The El Paso facility has 80 acres of land that will be dedicated to research studies for the 2018 season. The Choice Trials program, for instance, allows Beck’s research department to test a variety of hybrids in different environments. 

By moving the PFR program to El Paso, Beck’s will be able to provide better training for the area sales staff and farmer-dealer network, and work more closely with farmers to offer them education and agronomic support, Beck said.

“Helping farmers succeed is at the core of everything we do and this move is a reflection of our continued commitment to Illinois farmers,” he said.

The 165-acre Downs location was sold to Horsch, a German-based agriculture equipment company with manufacturing facilities in the U.S. Officials from Horsch did not return calls seeking comment on Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Although Beck’s will now have less acreage to work with, Beck said the amount of research done will not be affected. 

In El Paso, Beck’s is located near the intersection of Interstate 39 and Route 24. About 80 acres of land will be dedicated to the research studies for the 2018 season, Beck said. Beck’s employs about 25 people at the two locations, which will now all be in the El Paso location. No jobs will be lost because of the transition, Beck said.

There are plans to expand the current buildings in El Paso to incorporate additional office space for increased sales and front counter support, an additional meeting room, an updated kitchen, a new warehouse with a staging area and additional space for storage and equipment maintenance, Beck added. That is expected to be completed by the end of March.

Follow Kevin Barlow on Twitter: @pg_barlow

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