Soybeans have taken the main stage among North Dakota commodities this year as another soybean crushing plant could soon be a reality in the state.
A $400 million soybean crushing plant is being planned for a site located one mile west of Casselton, N.D., east of the Tharaldson Ethanol plant.
It would be the second planned soybean crushing facility in North Dakota.
“The Casselton facility would crush 45 million bushels of soybeans annually for meal and oil,” said Melissa Beach, community and economic development director for the city of Casselton.
While the plant is still in the preliminary stages, Beach said a purchase agreement is in place, with the proposed project being a joint venture between two agricultural entities, currently unknown.
“We are in the preliminary stages, but we are hopeful it happens,” said Beach, whose husband is a farmer and a soybean grower. “It would mean a lot to soybean farmers in the state.”
The ag entities involved have not asked for any tax incentives from the city of Casselton, she added.
Earlier this summer, ADM announced it would build the first soybean crush plant and refinery in Spiritwood, crushing around 150,000 bushels per day.
“It is similar to what is going on at ADM in Spiritwood, but we don’t think it is the same company,” she said.
North Dakota produced 5.7 million acres of soybeans in 2020 at an average of 33.5 bushels per acre.
“That means that with the two soybean plants, about half of the soybeans produced in the state would be processed locally,” Beach said. “That is huge for North Dakota. Nearly all our commodities go out of state for processing, so if you are having commodities processed in-state, not only do you raise prices for soybeans for farmers, but jobs increase. It also brings up the prices for other commodities.”
The plant is expected to create 50-60 new jobs for the community.
Austin Langley, chairman of the North Dakota Soybean Council, said soybean growers are “excited about the opportunity to have their beans crushed in the state they produce them in.”
Beach said the project is contingent on infrastructure and is looking into whether there is enough water available, along with transportation infrastructure.
“The facility would need 900,000 gallons of water per day,” she said.
They are also looking into rail infrastructure.
“The site is right along two railway providers, Red River Valley and Western Rail,” she said.
The infrastructure issue would have to be solved before the company would move ahead with final plans.
Beach said their anticipated market would be about a 125-mile radius from Casselton, and they would also anticipate purchasing soybeans from Minnesota, as well.
“There are a lot of soybeans being produced in Cass County. In fact, Cass County is the number one soybean producing county in the nation,” she said.
In addition to local and state soybean purchases, the proposed plant could possibly open up opportunities to work with the renewable diesel plants in the western side of the state.
The company’s proposal to the city of Casselton included information that they would bring added value to the overall ag economy in the state by increasing the following:
- The value of the soybean basis.
- The year-round value of soybeans to the producer since the export market is only seasonal.
- The support of renewable diesel plants with the project’s refined, bleached, and deodorized (RBD) soybean oil.
- The support of numerous local feed mills that are feeding any type of animal for meat.
- The establishment of dedicated soybean meal supply to encourage more animal feeding in the state.
In addition to the Casselton proposed project and the ADM Spiritwood project, it was announced a new soybean crushing plant would be built in Buena Vista County near Alta, Iowa.
The company, Platinum Crush, LLC, plans to crush 110,000 bushels daily when it is operational in 2024.