Dow Agro could expand as parent shrinks

December 8, 2008

A sweeping round of plant closings and layoffs announced this morning by Dow Chemical Co. is likely to miss its agricultural arm, which is based in Indianapolis.

Rather, the company said, Dow AgroSciences plans to continue hiring in Indianapolis and at its locations elsewhere in the world.

"We are in the business of developing innovation that helps feed, fuel and clothe a growing world population, making our market segment less vulnerable than others," it said in a statement.

The Midland, Mich.-based chemical giant said it would close 20 plants and lay off 5,000 in order to save $700 million a year.

In October, Dow AgroSciences said it had added 200 positions to the 1,000 already working in Indianapolis this year as demand for food, feed, fiber and fuel increased globally.

In recent years, Dow AgroSciences has been diversifying its traditional base of herbicides and pesticides by delving into seeds genetically modified to resist insects and herbicides.

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