UPDATE 1-Bayer CropScience to invest $1 bln in USA by 2016

Wed Sep 3, 2014 1:50pm EDT

* Bayer CropScience aims to grow faster than U.S. market

* Biggest single investment area is Liberty herbicide

* $80 mln R&D centre opened in California (Adds details on Liberty herbicide)

FRANKFURT, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Bayer CropScience said it planned to invest close to $1 billion in the United States between 2013 and 2016 as it aimed to grow faster than the U.S. market as a whole.

The agricultural unit of German drugmaker Bayer said on Wednesday the U.S. investments would be part of its global capital expenditure programme of about $3.3 billion, which started last year and extends through 2016.

Bayer CropScience Chief Executive Liam Condon said in a statement the company's single biggest investment area in the United States was to expand production capacity of its Liberty herbicide.

Farmers are increasingly turning to Liberty to kill weeds that have grown resistant to Monsanto's glyphosate. Bayer said a year ago it would build a 380 million euro ($499 million) factory for Liberty in Alabama.

Condon was speaking at the inauguration of an $80 million research and development site in West Sacramento, California.

"We are investing heavily in R&D infrastructure such as laboratories, greenhouses and breeding stations as well as new production capacities and seed processing facilities," he said. (1 US dollar = 0.7609 euro) (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; editing by Jane Baird)

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