The Kansas City Star, June 10, 2006

Bayer CropScience to slash Kansas City jobs

Bayer CropScience is expected to cut about 100 jobs from the work force of 550 at its manufacturing operation in northeast Kansas City.

Employee teams are working with managers at the company's Hawthorne Road manufacturing operation to identify ways of improving efficiency and making the plant more competitive, said Greg Coffey, a spokesman based at the company's corporate offices in North Carolina. "To achieve these objectives, there will be some changes in the organization that will result in the loss of some positions," Coffey said.
The job cuts stemming from the initiative the company is calling "Project Renaissance" are expected to start in July. The company has no intention of sacrificing safety with staffing adjustments while it seeks greater efficiency, Coffey said. "Our excellent safety and security performance will not be affected by this action," he said.

Bayer's Kansas City facility specializes in manufacturing a variety of crop protection products, including herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. Its key products include an herbicide called Sencor, used to control weeds in such crops as soybeans and potatoes, and a fungicide called Folicur, used to control diseases in crops such as peanuts and soybeans. Plant employees include manufacturing technicians, engineering and maintenance specialists, chemists and chemical engineers.

The Bayer unit is one of six major manufacturers in the pesticide industry, said Allan Noe of CropLife America, a Washington, D.C., trade association for pesticide manufacturers and distributors. Companies in this fairly mature and stable industry do not face the emergence of many new competitors but they are in a science-driven field requiring them to devote sufficient resources to developing innovations, Noe said. "Our industry is competitive in that respect," Noe said.
Jason Gertzen