Pacific Northwest See For Yourself port tour application deadline is May 12th

May 6, 2024

A group of South Dakota soybean growers will travel to the Pacific Northwest (PNW) to see for themselves the importance of that region’s ports to South Dakota soybeans leaving the country. The See For Yourself program gives farmers a chance to learn more about the export of soybeans through ports in Oregon and Washington state, said Scott Ritzman, president of Ritz Ag Consultants, who is coordinating the tour for the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

“It’s one of the best ways to educate producers on how the grain flows from local elevators to our customers in Southeast Asia,” Ritzman told the South Dakota Soybean Network. “South Dakota’s geographic location depends on the PNW to export to these customers in Southeast Asia. The See For Yourself allows participants to learn more about the different companies that have export terminals out there, the advantages of shipping from the PNW, and how the PNW can influence the local cash price in South Dakota.”

The tour, July 8-11, includes an in-depth industry update on biodiesel, renewable diesel, and sustainable aviation fuel, which, Ritzman says, are important, particularly with a new crush plant coming online in Mitchell.

“The participants will have an opportunity to learn more about how their checkoff funds are being invested in researching new production techniques as well as markets and uses for soybeans that benefit South Dakota farmers,” said Ritzman. “This is a great way for these South Dakota farmers to really understand how all the infrastructure and logistics of getting the commodity that they grow there in South Dakota out to the PNW and eventually into our customers’ hands.”

Applications to be part of the trip, specifically to view facilities on the Columbia River, Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington area, are accepted at South Dakota Soybean until May 12th. Tour participation among growers is important, said Ritzman, because the bulk of soybeans exported from South Dakota exit through Pacific Northwest ports.

“Geographically and logistically, all of their product will move to the PNW. Some of it may go south to the Mexican border, but a lot of what South Dakota exports from their state is going to go to the PNW. So, if we can really get farmers to understand how the export market and PNW works, how it impacts their bottom line, their cash price at the coop level, is beneficial to South Dakota farmers,” he explained. “So, it’s a See For Yourself, you go, see, you learn and become more well-rounded on the export market and how things out at the PNW may impact your cash price back at the local coop that you’re selling your product to after harvest.”

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