Soybean farmers provide $900,000 to help expand soybean meal exports

One of the most dynamic developments within the soybean industry in recent history has been the proliferation of current and planned expansion of soybean processing throughout the United States – largely inspired by the demand for soybean oil as one of the primary feedstocks for the expanding renewable energy market. These current and planned investments present a profound question, “With all of the future processing, how can we most effectively access markets for the increased soybean meal?”. A group of soybean farmer organizations are helping provide an answer to this question by assisting a future investment that will significantly enhance the amount of U.S. soybean meal exported to international customers.

AG Processing, Inc. (AGP), the Omaha-based cooperative that owns and operates ten soybean processing facilities in the Midwest, announced on March 22nd a major expansion and upgrade to its export terminal at the Port of Grays Harbor in Aberdeen, Washington. AGP plans to construct additional storage at its Terminal 2 facility and develop a new ship loader at Terminal 4. These investments – scheduled to be operational in 2025 – will ultimately allow the AGP terminal to increase soybean meal exports from 3 million to 6 million metric tons. In order to accommodate this growth and investment, the Port of Grays Harbor will expand its rail infrastructure within the complex to efficiently handle the increased volume, as well as mitigate the surface traffic impact to the local community.

Given the profound benefit these planned investments will provide to a significant number U.S. soybean farmers, the Nebraska Soybean Board, the Iowa Soybean Association, the Kansas Soybean Commission, the North Dakota Soybean Council, the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, and the Soy Transportation Coalition have committed $900,000 to help offset some of the pre-engineering, design, and site development costs of the Port of Grays Harbor Terminal 4 Expansion and Redevelopment Project.

“With more future soybean processing in this country, farmers are very interested in opportunities to assist with the increased need for soybean meal export capacity,” says Jonathan Miller, a soybean farmer from Island, Kentucky, and Chairman of the Soy Transportation Coalition. “The more we can export a higher value product, like soybean meal, farmers will benefit. I am proud of how these soybean farmer organizations are demonstrating their commitment to their fellow producers by making this significant investment.”

“Over the past 20 years, AGP has been an excellent partner, and we are excited to continue to collaborate with them on this major expansion,” says Gary Nelson, Executive Director of the Port of Grays Harbor. “We are extremely pleased and grateful to receive this generous support from soybean farmers. It will clearly enhance this project as it moves forward. We look forward to the Port of Grays Harbor becoming an even more significant economic engine for not only our local and regional community, but also soybean farmers throughout the country.”

“AGP’s previous and future investments at the Port of Grays Harbor are motivated by the commitment to provide efficient and economical access to international markets for U.S. soybean meal,” says Chris Schaffer, Chief Executive Officer of AGP. “For many years, this export terminal has served as a vital link between AGP farmer-owned cooperative members and critical international markets. We very much appreciate the financial commitment from the soybean farmer organizations to support AGP’s efforts to enhance and upgrade the port’s export capabilities.”

“What happens over there impacts what happens over here, and what happens over here impacts what happens over there,” explains Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director of the Soy Transportation Coalition. “It is well-established how investments in the Pacific Northwest will result in greater farmer profitability in the Midwest. In turn, profitable farmers in the Midwest result in increased investment in the Pacific Northwest. AGP’s expansion project at the Port of Grays Harbor is arguably the most immediate opportunity for soybean farmers to assist with the need for increased soybean meal export capacity. The Soy Transportation Coalition and other farmer organizations are pleased to partner in this important project.”

Established in 2007, the Soy Transportation Coalition is comprised of thirteen state soybean boards, the American Soybean Association, and the United Soybean Board. The goal of the organization is to position the soybean industry to benefit from a transportation system that delivers cost effective, reliable, and competitive service.

About the Nebraska Soybean Board: The nine-member Nebraska Soybean Board collects and disburses the Nebraska share of funds generated by the one-half of one percent times the net sales price per bushel of soybeans sold. Nebraska soybean checkoff funds are invested in research, education, domestic and foreign markets, including new uses for soybeans and soybean products.

Photo Caption:

Exports: AGP plans to construct additional storage at its Port of Grays Harbor facility and develop a new ship loader. These investments will ultimately allow the AGP terminal to increase soybean meal exports from 3 million to 6 million metric tons.

Nebraska Soybean Board to meet

The Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) will hold its next meeting on September 7-8, 2022 at the Omaha Marriott located at 10220 Regency Circle, Omaha, Nebraska.

Among conducting regular board business, the Board will finalize funding for FY23 proposals and learn about other new opportunities. The meeting is open to the public and will provide an opportunity for public discussion. The complete agenda for the meeting is available for inspection on the Nebraska Soybean Board website at www.nebraskasoybeans.org

About the Nebraska Soybean Board: The nine-member Nebraska Soybean Board collects and disburses the Nebraska share of funds generated by the one-half of one percent times the net sales price per bushel of soybeans sold. Nebraska soybean checkoff funds are invested in research, education, domestic and foreign markets, including new uses for soybeans and soybean products.

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North Platte Chamber & Development announces pursuit of soybean crush plant

The North Platte Chamber & Development Corporation (the Chamber) has announced its pursuit of a soybean processing plant to anchor its newly developing industrial rail park.

The 300-acre industrial rail park is located eight miles west of North Platte, near Hershey. Over three years of planning with Union Pacific Railroad, the Nebraska Legislature, Lincoln County Commissioners, the Village of Hershey, the City of North Platte, Greenbrier Rail Services, various utility partners and local landowners has positioned the project to move forward. A major feasibility study to attract a soybean oil crush facility earned a platinum rating on its viability.

The Chamber has acquired options to purchase the land for the rail park site and successfully secured a $30 million grant through the Rural Projects Act from the State of Nebraska. Access to the main line has been granted by Union Pacific for use by the park. A Phase 1 environmental assessment has been conducted on the entire park site with no significant findings. The park development will qualify for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and will be developed in stages, with an estimated $60 million in infrastructure development to be done by the Chamber after an anchor partner is chosen, with the overall rail and utility infrastructure designed for the needs of the anchor partner. The Chamber acknowledges the best anchor partner is most likely an agricultural processor, sought guidance from the Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB), and subsequently contracted with RLA Consulting Group, an internationally experienced team of former executives with substantial soybean processing experience, to complete an extensive feasibility study on locating a 3,000 metric ton per day soybean processing plant at the park.

An excerpt from the study states “RLA Consulting’s investigations confirm a great opportunity and limited risk for locating a 3,000 metric ton per day soybean crushing plant in North Platte, Nebraska. The proposed site is in Western Nebraska and has access to sufficient soybean production there and from Northwestern Kansas to support the plant.

The study indicates “Preliminary findings indicate that a capital investment of $285 million provides a pre-tax 18.8% ROI” and continues with “Overall, North Platte appears to be in an enviable and dominant position with a regional strategic location and flexible transportation connections.

The surging, policy driven, demand for Renewable Diesel (RD), with soybean oil being the primary domestic feedstock, is bringing soybean processors in partnership with the liquid fuels industry to expand soybean processing on a large, national scale. The study highlights “The Renewable Diesel industry’s demand for soybean oil has the potential to be one of the biggest demand side drivers since the rise of demand for corn to produce ethanol during 2005-2010”, and notes “most RD plants are located in the US Gulf States and Western U.S. and are principally serviced by rail and barge logistics.” “North Platte would benefit from the standpoint of its transportation proximity to these markets… With the adoption of the RD policy in California and the petroleum industry’s rush to build out the refining infrastructure we no longer consider soybean oil demand to be a concern and it is in fact now a considerable benefit for the economics of the proposed plant site given its proximity to the California market.

“The soybean processing industry is experiencing tremendous growth across Nebraska and the Midwest,” said Doug Saathoff, farmer and NSB chairman. “Global and domestic demand for sustainably grown soybean meal and oil continues to grow and we are excited to discover and help research new value-added opportunities right here in Nebraska.”

The proposed 3,000 metric ton plant would process over 36 million bushels of soybeans annually.  Regarding supply, the study shows “Using the soybean production average for the 2017-2021 crop years indicates the North Platte location should have access to “captive” volume of approximately 21.9 million bushels annually. The word “captive” is used in the sense that there are no competing soybean plants which are closer than the … proposed North Platte location.” Analyzing Nebraska’s three most western Crop Reporting Districts, and applying calculations from when other new soybean plants were built, the study concludes acreage expansion “theoretically increase the soybean production total for the three districts from 20 million in Year 1 to 46 million bushels by Year 5.

Marketing soybean meal locally, the study suggests “a North Platte crushing plant could have access to up to an estimated 665,000 tons of soybean meal demand annually, or approximately 78% of the plant’s meal production.”, and utilizing Union Pacific rail expands to “North Platte is well-located to supply several regional soybean meal markets. These would include the PNW as well as the Western and Southwestern U.S.

The Chamber is now soliciting proposals from parties interested in developing a soybean processing plant in the new rail park. To review the rail park site, access the full feasibility and economic study, and submit proposals; contact Gary Person, President and CEO, North Platte Area Chamber & Development at 308-532-4966 or gary@nparea.com.

Photo Captions

Industrial Rail Park 1: The 300-acre Hershey Industrial Rail Park is located eight miles west of North Platte. (August 2022)

Industrial Rail Park 2: The existing Greenbrier building (pictured) is being purchased in a cooperative effort between the North Platte Chamber and Development Corporation and Lincoln County and will serve as a catalyst to develop the remainder of the park. (Winter 2021)

Soybean oil paves the way for dust control and road stabilization at Husker Harvest Days

The Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) sponsored an application of DustLock™ surrounding the Husker Harvest Days site. The soy-based product works to improve dust control and assist with road stabilization on heavily trafficked gravel or recycled asphalt roads. The product was applied on August 17 to nearly three miles of gravel roads surrounding Husker Harvest Days.

The world’s largest totally irrigated farm show paved the interior streets in 2018 but is still surrounded by gravel roads that need to be watered to control dust. Formulated by Environmental Dust Control of the Midwest, DustLock™ works to not only keep dust down, but also eliminate mud and erosion of gravel. The product is a naturally occurring by-product of the soybean oil refining process. Chemists combined ingredients in DustLock™ to make it non-corrosive and friendly to equipment and environment alike.

“We are excited to showcase DustLock™ that uses soybean oil at a marque farmer event,” said Scott Ritzman, NSB executive director. “This product is environmentally friendly and provides economic savings to rural areas. The soybean checkoff is always looking at ways to utilize the entire soybean composition and this product is another way of replacing petroleum oil with soybean oil, adding value to farmers’ bottom line.”

DustLock™ penetrates into the bed of the material and ‘bonds’ to make a barrier that is naturally biodegradable. This means that DustLock™ stays where it is applied, ensuring that the surrounding ground and water are not contaminated. It works to keep the road in place and helps solve the problem of washboards, washouts and potholes. Only one application is needed and can last multiple years based on the amount of traffic, winter blading and frost conditions.

“It’s definitely going to control dust, it will hold and it will work well,” said Dan Feige of Environmental Dust Control of the Midwest.

Farmers and Nebraska’s economy depend on gravel roads and DustLock™ serves as an economical alternative to asphalt or concrete pavement.

“Producers and researchers are continually advancing commodities around the world, and soybeans are no exception, said Wesley Wach, NSB demand and utilization coordinator. “Soybean oil is extremely versatile and it is incredible to see a product grown by Nebraska’s farmers play such an integral role in improving our quality of life through a sustainable solution.”

DustLock™ has been applied in other parts of the state and across the Midwest and farmers say it has improved safety through better visibility, caused roads to lose less gravel and has kept dust from blowing onto crops and into homes. Application locations include heavily-trafficked gravel roads near elevators, hog barns, feedlots and new community developments.

The Nebraska Soybean Board sponsored this application, something Husker Harvest Days attendees can check out when visiting Husker Harvest Days September 13-15 and in the coming years. Signage will mark the roads where the product was applied and DustLock™ will have a booth at Lot 507 right behind the Commodities Building on Main Street.

Individuals can also learn more online at dustlock.com.

View the :30 trailer of the demonstration here.

About the Nebraska Soybean Board: The nine-member Nebraska Soybean Board collects and disburses the Nebraska share of funds generated by the one-half of one percent times the net sales price per bushel of soybeans sold. Nebraska soybean checkoff funds are invested in research, education, domestic and foreign markets, including new uses for soybeans and soybean products.

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Photo Captions

DustLock 1: On August 17, the Nebraska Soybean Board sponsored an application of DustLock™ at Husker Harvest Days near Grand Island, NE.

DustLock 2: The product soaks into the top half inch of the road and bonds with the dirt and gravel.

DustLock 3: DustLock™ was applied to nearly three miles of gravel roads surrounding Husker Har vest Days.

Nebraska soybean farmer participates in Indonesia conference

The future of soy in Southeast Asia is a hot topic and was the focus of the recent annual Asia Soy Excellence and Protein Summit held June 21-22 in Bali, Indonesia held and organized by USSEC and U.S. Soy industry partners.

Stakeholders from regional soy food and beverage industries convened for the annual 2-day event along with senior food science and nutrition managers, leaders in R&D and quality assurance, health professionals, and university and government officials.

Dialogues and presentations around the sustainable practices of U.S. Soy helped differentiate and elevate the benefits of U.S. Soy in food use and show its potential to help bring a lower carbon footprint for soy in the Southeast Asia region. Nearly 300 participants joined either in person or virtually to learn about U.S. food soybean production and perspectives on trends, forecasts, policy, trade and sustainability.

Greg Greving, a soybean farmer from Chapman, Nebraska, was on hand for the event and noted the value of spending time together with customers in person.

Meetings with buyers are vital to our industry,” Greving said. “We need to have the contact for the contracts to follow. Getting together face-to-face is like me performing maintenance on my tractor. You have to take care of it for performance and longevity.”

Conference attendees, Greg Greving and Linda Funk (President of Flavorful Insight, USA) listening to a presentation at the 17th Annual Asia Soy Excellence and Protein Summit.

Southeast Asia is an important trade partner for Nebraska farmers, with over $781 million worth of Nebraska soybean exports sold to Indonesia alone over the past 10 years. At the conference, product and ingredient innovation was a key topic of discussion, covering new plant-based beverages, soy in both animal and plant-based meats, and bioprocesses, cultured and alternative protein development.

“The presentation and discussion started from traditional soy products, which is rooted to our culture, up to the sophisticated innovative products such as Ominimeat and cultivated protein or lab grown meat,” said Yunawati Gandasasmita, Head of Corporate Regulatory Affairs for Nutrition & Beverage at PT Kalbe Farma.

Attendees were given a demo of The Specialty U.S. Soy Database, which features nearly 300 soybean varieties, qualitative attributes and information on how to source U.S. identity preserved soybeans and supplier contact information.

Sustainability was an important subject, with discussions around how U.S. Soy can be part of a more sustainable food system in Southeast Asia. Presentations covered everything from how soy can help accomplish The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to food security and sustainability challenges to soy’s role in new agri-food innovations.

The event concluded with “Taste Tempe-tion,” a hands-on Tempe making and tasting session that demonstrated soy’s use in the popular Indonesian food.

“The chefs’ recipes demonstrated how delicious and versatile soy protein is,” said Linda Funk, President of Flavorful Insight, USA.

About the Nebraska Soybean Board: The nine-member Nebraska Soybean Board collects and disburses the Nebraska share of funds generated by the one-half of one percent times the net sales price per bushel of soybeans sold. Nebraska soybean checkoff funds are invested in research, education, domestic and foreign markets, including new uses for soybeans and soybean products.

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Group attending the 17th Annual Asia Soy Excellence and Protein Summit.

Immersive demonstrations planned for Nebraska Soybean Management Field Days August 9-12

The 2022 Soybean Management Field Days are set for August 9-12. This year’s field days feature more demonstration-based presentations and added opportunities for interactive discussion. Growers will also have opportunities to get questions answered.

The field days bring research-based information to growers to improve soybean profitability. Local and global issues that are important to farmers will also be addressed. Attendees will learn about the various Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) checkoff dollar research, marketing and education efforts.

Brought to you by NSB and Nebraska Extension, the field days begin with 9 a.m. registration and conclude at 2:30 p.m. Free registration is available the day of the event.

The event consists of four stops across the state, each with demonstration plots, lunch and time for questions. Dates and locations are:

  • 9 – Blue Hill, NE – Toepfer Farms
  • 10 – Central City, NE – Greg Greving Farm
  • 11 – Brownville, NE – Daryl Obermeyer Farm
  • 12 – Decatur, NE – Method Farms

University specialists, educators and industry consultants will cover:

  • Soybean disease management
  • Soybean insect management
  • Irrigation management (Blue Hill, Central City, Decatur)
  • Cover crops (Brownville)
  • Weed management
  • Ag economics
  • Precision ag
  • Biodiesel & Renewable Diesel: Fuels from the Farm

“The Nebraska Soybean Board looks forward to another road trip across Nebraska providing helpful information and demonstrations to our producers to utilize on their farms,” says Scott Ritzman, NSB executive director. “It’s an excellent way to provide unbiased research that hopefully impacts their bottom line.”

University of Nebraska-Lincoln agronomists, plant disease experts, and insect specialists will be available to address questions. Participants can bring unknown crop problems for complimentary identification.

According to Nebraska Extension educator, Aaron Nygren, “This is an excellent opportunity to gather and discuss soybean production practices that are important to your operation with other farmers and University of Nebraska specialists and educators.”

For more information about the field days and maps to sites, visit enrec.unl.edu/soydays, or contact NSB at (402) 441-3240 or Nebraska Extension at (402) 624-8030.

About the Nebraska Soybean Board: The nine-member Nebraska Soybean Board collects and disburses the Nebraska share of funds generated by the one-half of one percent times the net sales price per bushel of soybeans sold. Nebraska soybean checkoff funds are invested in research, education, domestic and foreign markets, including new uses for soybeans and soybean products.

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Wach joins Nebraska Soybean Board as Demand and Utilization Coordinator

The Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) is pleased to announce the hiring of Wesley Wach as demand and utilization coordinator.

In his position, Wach will handle the development of the demand and utilization programs that NSB invests the checkoff into each year. The goal of those specific programs is to ensure that Nebraska soybeans are preferred as a food, feed, fuel and industrial input source. This role is integral in building and sustaining soybean demand while looking at new opportunities for the many uses that soybeans bring to consumers, customers and industrial industries.

Wesley grew up on a diversified farming operation near Hayes Center, Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May of 2022 with a degree in Agricultural Economics and minors in Engler Entrepreneurship and Agricultural Communications. While in college, he worked as a research assistant on the Weed Science Team for the Agronomy and Horticulture Department. In this past year, he served as the communications and outreach intern for the Nebraska Corn Growers Association. Wesley’s rural, research and leadership background prepared him well to work with commodity organizations.

“We are excited to welcome Wesley to our team as the demand and utilization coordinator at a pivotal time in the soybean industry,” said Scott Ritzman, NSB executive director. “He will work with contractors along with the rest of NSB’s team to continue to build demand for Nebraska soybeans and increase utilization of soybean products both domestically and internationally. Growing up on a farm and his previous work experiences brings value to NSB as the newest team member.”

“Serving the producers of Nebraska has become a passion of mine these last few years, and I have had many incredible opportunities to broaden my exposure to the agriculture industry,” said Wach. “It has been inspiring to connect with individuals who have the best interests in mind for our farmers, and I look forward to working with our staff to promote and grow the value of Nebraska soybeans.”

Wach started his role on June 20. He can be contacted and welcomed at wesley@nebraskasoybeans.org.

About the Nebraska Soybean Board: The nine-member Nebraska Soybean Board collects and disburses the Nebraska share of funds generated by the one-half of one percent times the net sales price per bushel of soybeans sold. Nebraska soybean checkoff funds are invested in research, education, domestic and foreign markets, including new uses for soybeans and soybean products.

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Nebraska Soybean Board to meet

The Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) will hold its next meeting on June 29-30, 2022 at the Divot’s Conference Center located at 4200 West Norfolk Avenue, Norfolk, Nebraska.

Among conducting regular board business, the Board will review FY23 proposals and other new opportunities. The meeting is open to the public and will provide an opportunity for public discussion. The complete agenda for the meeting is available for inspection on the Nebraska Soybean Board website at www.nebraskasoybeans.org

About the Nebraska Soybean Board: The nine-member Nebraska Soybean Board collects and disburses the Nebraska share of funds generated by the one-half of one percent times the net sales price per bushel of soybeans sold. Nebraska soybean checkoff funds are invested in research, education, domestic and foreign markets, including new uses for soybeans and soybean products.

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