Soybean farmers throughout the country will be able to access the newly funded expansion of the AG Processing Inc. (AGP) Port of Grays Harbor in Aberdeen, Washington, bolstering international trade of soybean meal. The checkoff is investing $400,000 in research, analysis and design.
Once completed, the terminal will increase soybean meal exports from 3 million metric tons to 6 million metric tons — opening up room for more soybean meal exports for U.S. soybean farmers as oil demand and international trade increases.
“This upgrade will bring value to soybean farmers in the United States by accessing markets wanting increased soybean meal. The checkoff understands how improvements in different areas of the country benefit soybean farmers in the Midwest,” said Tony Johanson, checkoff director and Soy Transportation Coalition board member from Nebraska. “The investment helps answer the big question in the soybean industry: ‘With all the new soybean crushing added in the U.S. to produce more oil, what are we going to do with all that additional meal?’”
The growing opportunity at Port of Grays Harbor requires efficient and accessible transportation from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest. AGP, which owns 10 soybean processing plants throughout the Midwest, is committed to expanding the rail system to help farmers transport their products to the harbor.
This investment totals up to $1.3 million in funding, with the additional investment coming from the Soy Transportation Coalition, Iowa Soybean Association, Kansas Soybean Commission, Nebraska Soybean Board, North Dakota Soybean Council, and South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.
“We understand that 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,” said Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition. “The project at the Port of Grays Harbor is the most immediate opportunity for soybean farmers to assist with the need for increased soybean meal export capacity.”
The checkoff has funded key research projects, including the lower Mississippi River deepening project, the Missouri River barge loading terminal and the Lock and Dam #25 project, which have established the soybean checkoff funds as a meaningful catalyst for significant infrastructure enhancements.