State official: North Dakota soybean processing expected to grow from "near zero" to 120M bushels per year

(Fargo, ND) -- The director of the North Dakota Department of Commerce is talking about the economic impact of a new soybean crushing plant just announced for Grand Forks. 

"We're going to be taking all of that product and processing it here in North Dakota rather than putting it on a train and sending it somewhere else to be processed and to add value to it. We are going to add value to it right here in North Dakota.  

Rich Garman says right now there is "near zero" soybean processing happening in the state, but says within a few years, the state will be processing 120 million bushels per year at the Epitome Energy plant in Grand Forks, and at other new soybean processing plants coming to Casselton and to a site near Jamestown. 

"It's a $400 million project. It's going to bring about 40 plus million bushels of soybeans to the Grand Forks area to be processed," said Garman. 

Garman says North Dakota farmers who have their soybeans processed at the plant will be able to make an extra estimated 25 cents per bushel because they won't have to pay transportation costs to have them shipped to processors out of the region.  

Groundbreaking for the Grand Forks project is planned for summer 2023, and the site is expected to become operational in 2025. 

Garman appeared on "What's on Your Mind" on AM 1100 The Flag.