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.