Harbor in Washington

(Photo: Port of Grays Harbor)

Soy checkoff supports research to expand meal export infrastructure

January 4, 2023

Article courtesy of the United Soybean Board.

To provide efficient access and bolster international trade markets for U.S. soybean meal, the United Soybean Board (USB) will invest $400,000 in the research, analysis and design costs of the Port of Grays Harbor’s Terminal 4 Expansion and Redevelopment Project. The terminal, located in Aberdeen, Washington, plays an important role in international exports.

“The Port of Grays Harbor is critical in expanding high-value soybean meal exports. Farmers recognize this through their checkoff to fund significant work informing these upgrades that bring value to all U.S. soybean farmers,” says Tony Johanson, USB director and Soy Transportation Coalition board member from Nebraska. “I’m proud of our farmers’ commitment to enhance and maintain U.S. infrastructure. Doing so helps sustain our competitive advantage over global competitors.”

USB joins 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, bringing the total farmer research investment to $1.3 million.

Earlier this year, AG Processing Inc. (AGP), an Omaha-based cooperative that owns and operates 10 soybean processing facilities in the Midwest, announced it would expand its export terminal at the Port of Grays Harbor.

Scheduled to be operational in 2025, the upgrades will allow the AGP terminal to increase soybean meal exports from 3 to 6 million metric tons. To accommodate the growth, the Port of Grays Harbor will expand the rail infrastructure, allowing the terminal to handle the volume and mitigate traffic congestion in the community.

“It is well established how investments in the Pacific Northwest will result in greater farmer profitability in the Midwest,” says Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition. “In turn, profitable farmers in the Midwest result in increased investments in the Pacific Northwest. AGP’s expansion project at the Port of Grays Harbor is arguably the most immediate opportunity for soybean farmers to assist with the need for increased soybean meal export capacity. The Soy Transportation Coalition and other farmer organizations are pleased to partner in this important project.”

The Port of Grays Harbor’s Terminal 4 research project is the latest infrastructure initiative from the soy checkoff. In 2019, the checkoff funded research, education and promotion costs related to dredging the Mississippi River. And in 2021, the checkoff funded pre-engineering and design work to maintain Lock and Dam #25 on the Upper Mississippi River.