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BOISE -- Seed and herbicide maker Monsanto Co. plans to hire 24 people at a new center in southern Idaho where its scientists will study ways to boost wheat production.

The Capital Press reports St. Louis-based Monsanto has gotten the go-ahead from the Idaho Wheat Commission for the Wheat Technology Center in Filer.

Monsanto told Idaho officials in an e-mail this represents a compelling opportunity... to apply our technology expertise in a global crop that can benefit from innovation.

Monsanto's work with wheat has been the topic of discussion recently.

That's after discovery in Oregon of genetically-modified wheat that was the same strain as one designed by Monsanto to be herbicide-resistant but which was never approved.

Since that discovery, Japan suspended some imports and one Kansas wheat farmer filed a lawsuit.

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