Company will also close field trial sites in Hawaii, India and Puerto Rico

Chemicals giant BASF is making significant cuts to its plant science operations. It will cut plant biotechnology R&D by 50%, eliminating around 350 jobs by the end of 2016. Of those, 140 positions will be in North America and 180 in Europe.

The cuts will include closing field testing sites in Hawaii, India and Puerto Rico. Research and field sites in the US, Germany, Belgium and Brazil will be retained but reduced in size.

BASF is cutting early-stage projects aimed at increasing yields and stress tolerance, including for corn and soybeans. It is also discontinuing projects in rice yield and corn fungal resistance. The company intends to focus on projects in herbicide tolerance and fungus resistant soybeans.