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Perdue gets 'green light' for new Pa. soybean processing plant

Soybean processing plant to be built by Perdue in Lancaster County will be a boon to soybean producers plus dairy, pork and poultry producers.

John Vogel, Editor, American Agriculturist

May 6, 2016

2 Min Read

In June, Perdue AgriBusiness will begin constructing a new grain elevator/mill and soybean processing plant above the Susquehanna River near Marietta, Pa. This week, the company received its final “green light” on the long-planned project from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The 1.5-million-bushel capacity facility will receive, process, dry, store and ship soybeans e grown and harvested throughout the region. The processing plant will process 17.5 million bushels of soybeans per year and produce soybean meal and soybean hulls, plus extract soybean oil, according the Perdue information.

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It’ll be built adjacent to Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority’s waste-to-energy facility, which will provide steam to power the soybean processing plant. Pennsylvania’s existing soybean processing plants meet only one-third of the soybean meal demand by the state’s dairy and poultry industry – between 10 and 12 million bushels a year.

Seven of Pennsylvania’s top 10 soybean-producing counties are located within 50 miles of the plant. It’ll also open new delivery options for Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey.

The Perdue elevator and processing facility represent an investment of more than $59 million that’ll generate more than 150 construction jobs, 35 long-term jobs upon completion and an additional 500 jobs in crop production and transportation. Construction is expected to be completed by September 2017.

Perdue AgriBusiness received an $8.75 million Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant for overall site development work and construction of the grain elevator. RACP grants are part of the standard economic development portfolio used to attract investment and create jobs.

Environmental concerns met
Tthe facility will meet the most stringent emissions limitations for any soybean processing facility in the country, affirmed DEP Secretary John Quigley. The primary environmental concern centered around air quality and use of hexane solvent to extract oil from soybeans.

“Cumulative emissions (from the plant and other nearby industrial facilities) aren’t expected to be a problem,” says Robert Conrad, acting director for DEP’s south central regional office, “given the small percentage of local emissions contributed by Perdue. It more than meets the most stringent emission limits set by the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and the federal Clean Air Act.

Pennsylvania Ag Secretary Russell Redding also sees it as a win-win for Perdue and local farmers. “When the commonwealth was first approached by this project nearly eight years ago, we recognized the potential to create new markets and grow the soybean acreage in the state and region. Value-added opportunities like this plant help position Pennsylvania agriculture to remain competitive, and it positions our farmers for future growth.”

About the Author(s)

John Vogel

Editor, American Agriculturist

For more than 38 years, John Vogel has been a Farm Progress editor writing for farmers from the Dakota prairies to the Eastern shores. Since 1985, he's been the editor of American Agriculturist – successor of three other Northeast magazines.

Raised on a grain and beef farm, he double-majored in Animal Science and Ag Journalism at Iowa State. His passion for helping farmers and farm management skills led to his family farm's first 209-bushel corn yield average in 1989.

John's personal and professional missions are an integral part of American Agriculturist's mission: To anticipate and explore tomorrow's farming needs and encourage positive change to keep family, profit and pride in farming.

John co-founded Pennsylvania Farm Link, a non-profit dedicated to helping young farmers start farming. It was responsible for creating three innovative state-supported low-interest loan programs and two "Farms for the Future" conferences.

His publications have received countless awards, including the 2000 Folio "Gold Award" for editorial excellence, the 2001 and 2008 National Association of Ag Journalists' Mackiewicz Award, several American Agricultural Editors' "Oscars" plus many ag media awards from the New York State Agricultural Society.

Vogel is a three-time winner of the Northeast Farm Communicators' Farm Communicator of the Year award. He's a National 4-H Foundation Distinguished Alumni and an honorary member of Alpha Zeta, and board member of Christian Farmers Outreach.

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