Aberdeen getting soybean processing plant
Ag Processing Inc (AGP) held a ground-breaking event for a new soybean processing plant on May 3, at Aberdeen, South Dakota.
Company board members and the management team hosted state and community leaders for the ceremony.
Originally announced in November of 2015, the project will bring to Aberdeen and the surrounding area a state-of-the-art soybean processing facility that is expected to boost the economy, locally and regionally, and it is estimated that the Aberdeen facility will crush between 110,000-120,000 bushels a day into soybean meal and soybean oil.
AGP does not disclose the cost of its projects, but CEO Keith Spackler said the Aberdeen facility will be the company’s largest investment.
“We are excited to break ground on AGP’s tenth soybean processing plant here today,” said Spackler. “This is an opportunity that we have been evaluating for some time, and we appreciate the strong working relationship with state and local economic officials who have been great partners in the process. AGP’s cooperative ownership base supports this opportunity to expand and enhance our value-added platform.”
He added that the new facility will begin processing soybeans in the fall of 2019 as originally planned. “Certainly a construction project as significant as this one requires a good team, and our team is working with others to deliver on the construction phase of this project,” reported Cal Meyer, AGP’s COO. “This facility will process over forty-five million bushels of soybeans annually, so it will have a very positive economic impact for farmers and communities in this region. In addition, the plant will provide the Aberdeen community with nearly fifty new jobs with competitive compensation and benefits.”
“AGP’s desire to build a soybean processing plant in Aberdeen was driven by several important factors, including a large supply of soybeans, a community that can provide for a great workforce, and solid infrastructure and transportation capabilities,” said Brad Davis, AGP’s Board Chairman. “The relationships that have been formed with the community and our members will make this plant a successful one for many years to come.”
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard attended the groundbreaking ceremony, touting the benefits of the plant, not only to the community, but the entire state. According to Dougaard, AGP’s nine running plants use about as many bushels of soybeans as South Dakota produces annually.
“That’s the scale that AGP operates on today. And this plant alone will absorb about 20 percent of our entire crop in the region. It’s going to take a lot of South Dakota soybeans and it’s going to create a market for those soybeans,” Daugaard said, in the Aberdeen News.
Wheat growers in the area also shared the benefits of having a soybean plant in the neighborhood, with a projected annual capacity of 40 million bushels a year.
“We feel this announcement is great news for farmers in the Dakotas, as this plant should be the largest single demand point for soybeans in the two state area,” South Dakota Wheat Growers Cooperative wrote in a statement. “We anticipate this plant being a very good market for the soybeans we handle, and expect a large portion of the soybeans we will sell will go to this plant. Wheat Growers and their farmer members will benefit from both, better market prices and better patronage streams, with Wheat Growers being one of the member owners of AGP.”
According to the Soybean Association, soybeans go to a number of destinations, for a variety of products. When processed, a 60-pound bushel will yield about 11 pounds of crude soybean oil and 47 pounds of soybean meal. Soybeans are about 18 percent oil and 38 percent protein. Because soybeans are high in protein, they are a major ingredient in livestock feed.
Soybeans, for the most part, are processed for their oil and protein for the animal feed industry. The high-protein fiber that remains after processing has removed the oil, is toasted and made into animal feed. A smaller percentage of soybeans is processed for human consumption and made into products including soy milk, soy flour, soy protein, tofu and other retail food products. Soybeans are also used in many non-food (industrial) products, including ink, candles, lubricants, and foams used in vehicles, coolers and other products.
The new plant will process the beans into soybean meal, a high protein feed ingredient, and soybean oil, which is used for a variety of products. Like other ag products such as corn, soybeans have different varieties, including a food grade product.
AGP (www.agp.com) is a leading agribusiness with primary operations as a major U.S. soybean processor/refiner producing and marketing soybean meal, refined soybean oil and biodiesel. AGP was established in 1983. Since that time, the world’s largest soybean processing cooperative has grown to include 172 member co-ops and represent more than 250,000 farmers across the U.S. and Canada.
AGP businesses also include agricultural product trading in domestic and international markets and numerous U.S. grain elevator operations. According to the 2017 Grain & Milling Annual, AGP has 45 grain facilities and 102 million bushel of total licensed grain storage capacity.
AGP is owned by local and regional cooperatives representing farmer‐producers across the United States. The corporate headquarters are located in Omaha, Neb.