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Groundbreaking for Green Bison Soy Processing ushers in a new kind of soybean industry in North Dakota

The ceremony for the Green Bison Soy Processing facility in Spiritwood, North Dakota, was held earlier this month.

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North Dakota's soybean industry is undergoing major changes, and a recent groundbreaking for a plant in the central part of the state celebrated that.

The ceremony for the Green Bison Soy Processing facility in Spiritwood, North Dakota, was held earlier this month. The project is a joint venture between ADM and Marathon Petroleum. The $350 million facility will be North Dakota's first dedicated soybean crushing plant. It is expected to process $150,000 bushels of soybeans a day into oil, meal and fiber. An estimated 600 million pounds of vegetable oil a year will be sent to the Marathon refinery in Dickinson, North Dakota, to be refined into renewable diesel.

"That's called leading the way forward with an innovative product and plant and business other places don't have," Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said at the ceremony.

The plant is expected to employ 70 people and be running by the 2023 harvest.

This isn't the only soybean plant in the works in North Dakota. Minnesota Soybean Processors is partnering with Louisiana-based CGB to form North Dakota Soybean Processors, which has been approved to build a plant at Casselton, North Dakota.

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All told, North Dakota in the next few years will go from a state that exported 90% of its soybeans to a state that will process and add value to more than half its soybean crop.

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Jenny Schlecht is the editor of Agweek and Sugarbeet Grower Magazine. She lives on a farm and ranch near Medina, North Dakota, with her husband and two daughters. You can reach her at jschlecht@agweek.com or 701-595-0425.
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