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Dakota soybean processing plant opens.

Nearly 2,100 soybean producers have combined resources to create South Dakota's first producer-owned soybean processing plant. The $32.5 million facility, near Volga, allows area producers to process their own soybeans, ending their reliance on outside suppliers.

Four years ago, the group decided eastern South Dakota producers needed a local plant as an economical alternative to shipping them out of the state to be processed into meal and then reshipped back for use in manufacturing livestock feed. State producers--who feed their livestock about 400,000 tons of bean meal each year--were paying $10 to $15 a ton for the return shipment.

Compounding the problem, they were receiving 75 cents below the basis price listed at the Chicago Board of Trade. "That's a considerable loss when you consider that we'll produce 95 million bushels of soybeans in South Dakota this year," said board president Paul Casper. Casper and his group spent two years conducting producer meetings across South Dakota and Minnesota, attended by 7,000 farmers.

Some 2,100 South Dakota and Minnesota producers invested $21 million to build the plant. Construction began in August 1995 and last fall the first load of soybeans was processed. An estimated 55,000 trucks will annually enter the plant. In the first year, the plant is expected to process 15 million bushels of soybeans.

At capacity, the Volga plant will process 50,000 bushels a day into 1,250 tons of crude meal. It will also process 265 tons of unrefined soy oil for shipment to 2 refineries in Mankato, Minn., for further processing into edible oil.
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Title Annotation:10 Years Ago ... From the March & April 1997 issues of Rural Cooperatives
Publication:Rural Cooperatives
Date:Mar 1, 2007
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