Bayer CropScience plans to slash about 300 jobs as it closes or downsizes manufacturing facilities in West Virginia and Georgia.
The move is part of a shift by the company away from older insecticides to newer agriculture protection products. Bayer CropScience reached an agreement last summer with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to phase out its Temik brand insecticide, making the production of its active ingredients unnecessary.
"The EPA did some new risk assessments, and they felt there was some concern" about Temik, said Bayer CropScience spokesman Jack Boyne. "We disagreed with some of their calculations, but we agreed to phase out the product."
Bayer CropScience, a subsidiary of the German conglomerate Bayer, employs about 550 people at its North American headquarters in Research Triangle Park, and at other local operations in Morrisville and Clayton.
The company has been expanding locally. In 2009, it acquired Athenix, an RTP biotechnology company developing genetically engineered corn and soybean. Bayer CropScience also announced in 2009 that it would open a new research and development center in Morrisville, creating 128 jobs over five years.
Boyne declined to provide any projections on local hiring this year.
The closures in Institute, W. Va., and in Woodbine, Ga., will result in a one-time charge of about $275 million. The move is part of a larger restructuring strategy Bayer announced in November.