ST. LOUIS — Monsanto on March 9 held groundbreaking ceremonies on a new $2.4 million, 26,000-square-foot corn breeding station in Flora, Miss. The facility will employ approximately 10 full-time and up to 50 seasonal workers, Monsanto said.

Monsanto said the site, which will complement the company’s global breeding program, will focus its research on using the latest breeding techniques to develop higher-yielding corn hybrids with greater resistance to disease and other environmental stresses, specifically adapted to the region.

“Our focus on research and development is what makes Monsanto a leader in agricultural productivity,” said Ted Crosbie, global breeding lead for Monsanto. “Our new facility in Flora will help further strengthen our R.&D. capabilities, and also is a great opportunity for us to strengthen relationships and collaborations in the southern states.”

Monsanto currently has three technology research sites in Mississippi — Scott, Leland, and Winterville — focused on delivering cotton and soy varieties and traits to meet the needs of southern farmers.

“We have always found that growing our crops where farmers will be growing theirs is the best way to develop new products that best meet the needs of our customers,” Mr. Crosbie said. “Our existing facilities in Scott, Leland and Winterville help serve the farmers’ need for innovative, higher-yielding products in cotton and soy. With the new site in Flora, we plan to do the same in corn.”

Southeast Industrial Properties I, L.L.C., a joint venture between Jackson, Miss.-based Hines Investments, Inc. and Duckworth Realty, Inc., has been awarded the build-to-suit project by Monsanto. Peoples Construction Corp. is the general contractor.