SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Soybean Processors are building a new facility in Mitchell.
In addition to soybeans, the new facility will also take sunflowers. It’s the group’s first facility that will handle both commodities, giving South Dakota producers more opportunities to market both crops.
Having a new soybean processing facility in South Dakota will have an impact far beyond Mitchell.
“Obviously when farmers, particularly can add value to their crops locally, that’s a huge win for not only the farmers that deliver the beans, but also the livestock producers that get the meal in return. So this is a really big deal for those of us in South Dakota,” said Lewis Bainbridge, soybean producer and member of the South Dakota Soybean Processors.
“Anytime you put down a large demand in one area, it increases the value of crops, the prices that producers see, there’s less freight involved to get to that market. It really brings the market right to the producers,” said Tom Kersting, CEO of South Dakota Soybean Processors.
The facility will also process sunflowers, creating a bigger market for the commodity.
“For us, we think that helps us with being involved in different markets and also different products so we are really enthused about doing that,” said Bainbridge.
Although sunflowers are seen more in the central and western parts of the state, they hope that the location of the facility will make it easier for farmers to bring in that crop.
“So the good news is for that plant, the location is such that we are a few miles from the interstate and we are also just off of a really good highway. So we think as that market develops, we will be able to draw those sunflowers from a little bit west and who knows maybe grow them a little bit closer to the plant too,” said Bainbridge.
And the benefits go beyond farmers and producers.
“Its a substantial investment in that area and it has a ripple affect throughout the community. We are talking about 50 new jobs, 50 plus new jobs, and you know everything that goes along with it too,” said Kersting.
There is still a lot of work to be done planning for the facility, but right now they are hoping to see it open in the fall of 2024 or spring of 2025.