MITCHELL, S.D. (KELO) — Davison County Commission approved a permit for their largest ag project to date.

The South Dakota Soybean Processors have reached the next step in their plans to open a soybean and sunflower processing facility in Mitchell after the county commission unanimously approved the conditional use permit for the $500 million processing plant.

This will be the future site of the South Dakota Soybean Processors Mitchell plant. Local ag producers like Kevin Deinert are excited for how this facility will impact commodity sales in the area.

“Having a soybean plant in the area here around Mitchell will give a good boost in the price that farmers will receive,” said Deinert. “Anytime we can get competing availability for our soybeans or competing prices for our soybeans is great for the local farmers here, all the family farms sure rely on the best price they can get so they continue to farm.”

Right now, Deinert has to haul most of his soybeans to Emery, which is around 40 miles from his operation. Having a plant close will lower his input costs and save travel time.

“Obviously the longer we have to haul the more inputs that we have to haul that there, whether that’s diesel or just general maintenance on our trucks,” said Deinert. “Not only will this plant provide good prices for our soybeans, but also provide some much available bi-products for the animal industry as well.”

Right now, the Soybean processors are still working on the engineering phase of the facility.

“Right now, we are heavily involved with detailed engineering for the project,” said Tom Kersting CEO South Dakota Soybean Processors. “We continue to work on all aspects in the permitting arena as well. Fundraising of course is ongoing and if things go well, we hope to make some equipment deposits this fall.”

There is still a long ways to go before the building is up and running. Right now, they hope to start construction next year and have the plant opened in summer of 2025.

“Certainly getting that conditional use permit and all the support we’ve had in the Mitchell area was a big hurtle, there’s a lot of big hurtles left,” said Kersting.

In the meantime, farmers look forward to being able to haul soybeans and sunflowers locally.

“Excited to have the option and increased basis and having the best price and the best options is always great for farmers and we hope that will continue in the future,” said Deinert.

It will provide them with soybean meal, which is great for pig production. Sunflower meal is also something that will be able to come out of the plant and feed cattle.