While soybeans will soon be harvested from South Dakota fields, they're already making their way to Sioux Falls streets. The city used a soybean-based asphalt sealant on a portion of 57th Street in southeast Sioux Falls.
The project was a partnership between the city and the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. Mayor Paul TenHaken pointed out how using a South Dakota-grown product can be good for farmers and the environment.
“Our street network is our largest single asset in our city,” TenHaken said. “We’re looking for new innovative ways to provide sustainable and economically friendly solutions to maintaining our infrastructure in our cities and also our environment.”
When applied to the surface of an asphalt road, RePlay, a Bargen Inc. product, uses soybean oil as a binding agent to add flexibility, durability, grip, and longevity to the road. Previous applications have increased the life of asphalt up to seven years. Additionally, as a bio-based product, it is a safer and cleaner alternative to other asphalt sealants.
“We’re using a product made from soybeans grown just a few miles from here that’s used to help extend the life of roads. It’s helping soybean prices and helping soybean farmers create a demand for the soybean oil that is produced.” said David Iverson, an Astoria, South Dakota soybean farmer who serves as secretary of the United Soybean Board .
Development of new uses of soybeans creates a larger demand for high-quality soybeans grown in South Dakota. The research council along with the United Soybean Board work to develop of these new uses and markets for farmers.
“This project brings value to this community while supporting farmers in the state,” said Tim Ostrem, chairman of the state's research and promotion council who farms near Centerville, South Dakota. “Any time that we can partner with innovative people to invest our soybean checkoff dollars in future-forward projects, especially with rural and city partnerships, we call that a win for our growers.”