CLINTON - Syngenta's new seed packaging warehouse began shipping to customers Tuesday. The Clinton warehouse, housed in a portion of the former Revere Corning plant, is heavily involved in customization and distribution of corn, said Ed Herlein, supply chain manager for the firm.
Farmers have a lot of choices when it comes to placing an order for corn at the center. Herlein compared selecting corn options to picking out features on a new car.
"It'd be like ordering whether you want a V8 engine or a V6 engine, cloth or leather seats, power windows, power locks," Herlein said.
Customers choose how the corn is packaged and treated at the warehouse.
"They picture corn and they picture a corn field - it looks the same, but it's certainly not," Tom Gahm, director of communications, said of the different options.
Workers at the facility will produce 800,000 bags of Golden Harvest and Garst corn by mid-April. A typical bag is 45 pounds and equals about 2.7 acres of corn, Herlein said. Cost of seed ranges from $90 to $180 a bag depending on its level of customization, Gahm said.
Gahm hopes the Clinton facility will lead to more new and repeat business. The new warehouse will help the company satisfy customers in a timely way, he said.
"It allows us to have a central distribution point where we can have a lot of product in one place to meet the needs of the customer," Herlein said.
The Clinton community, which has lost jobs and employers in recent years, welcomed the addition.
"It's just another shot in the arm for us," said Steve Vandiver, Clinton economic development director. "We've had a lot of success."
Vandiver noted other projects in the works for Clinton, including plans for five-screen theater.
The seed distributor's move to Clinton also was good news for employment in the community, Vandiver said.
Twenty full-time and 10 part-time employees work in the 342,000-square-foot facility. The warehouse has room for growth, too. Syngenta is open to adding more employees, services and space if needed, Herlein said.
"We're looking at different options that would continually improve our ability to be responsive to customers," he said.
The entire building is 680,000 square feet. Vandiver said the city still is marketing the remaining space.