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Wisconsin farmers await first soybean processing plant

Wisconsin’s Soybean Marketing Board looks forward to getting an in-state soybean crushing plant.

Farmer Andy Bensend is on the board and tells Brownfield the dairy and poultry producers need soybean meal, yet Wisconsin soybeans must travel a long way to get back to Wisconsin farms. “It’s another thing we’ve been working really, really hard on and putting some of our money into to try to make sure that we can make that happen so we don’t have to export those beans and turn around and haul the meal back.”

Bensend says once built, an in-state soybean processing plant should improve the bottom line for many farmers. “Anytime we can increase the supply of meal closer to the end user, it’s a win-win. We have a larger supply and we have less transportation costs. That should net out to a cheaper source of protein for our livestock producers.”

CHS is developing a soybean crushing facility in Evansville, Wisconsin, and Bensend says it’s a slow process that will take some time to complete. “The permitting processes that all have to happen, and of course, they have to make sure they have their resources in line to do the building. It’s a large project, but what an impact it can have for our soybean growers here in state.”

It was nearly one year ago CHS announced they would pursue a 700-million-dollar investment in an Evansville crushing facility that would handle approximately 70 million bushels of soybeans annually. Bensend says it would attract some soybeans from nearby Illinois and divert some beans from exports via the Mississippi River.

Bensend spoke to Brownfield before the recent Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board meeting.

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