JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG is closing its crop science division headquarters in North Carolina and moving 500 jobs to the St. Louis area, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and a company executive announced Tuesday.

Lisa Safarian, Bayer's commercial operations-North America president, said the company is moving the crop science North American division headquarters from the Raleigh area to the St. Louis suburb of Creve Coeur, Missouri. She did not specify when.

Bayer spokesman Chris Loder said the company's environmental science business will continue to have a presence in the Raleigh area.

Salaries for the Missouri jobs will average about $110,000 a year, state economic development officials said.

"Our talented workforce across Missouri, and especially in the St. Louis region, is a vital asset in our ability to develop and deliver new tools and innovations to farmers," Safarian said in a statement. "At Bayer, we are delighted to offer these highly skilled, good jobs in the St. Louis region that will continue to positively shape agriculture in our state, region, and world."

The job shift comes after Bayer completed its $63 billion purchase of agricultural giant Monsanto Co. in June. Monsanto, based in St. Louis, is one of the world's biggest seed companies. The merger makes Bayer the largest supplier in the world of pesticides and seeds for farmers.

Parson said he met with Bayer CEO Werner Baumann last month during a European trade mission in Germany and touted Missouri's efforts to provide workforce development and infrastructure support to the state's businesses.

Bayer could get more than $44 million in Missouri economic development incentives as a result of the crop science division move if the company fulfills job and investment promises.

The company agreed to make about $164 million in capital investments to the Creve Coeur facility. It pledged to retain close to 4,400 Missouri jobs as part of the deal.

Safarian said Bayer currently employs about 5,000 workers in Missouri.