Soy-based suppressant keeps South Dakota State Fair dust at bay

September 6, 2023

People attending the South Dakota State Fair were breathing easier thanks to a soybean oil-based dust suppressant that was applied with financial help from the South Dakota Soybean Checkoff. Dan Feige of Madison is part of a company called Environmental Dust Control of the Midwest. He applied a product called Dustlock to high-traffic gravel areas on the fairgrounds.

“Gravel dust and so forth is always a critical factor for both livestock and for humans,” said Feige, in an interview with the South Dakota Soybean Network, days before he applied the product. “Also on the west side, Gate Six, where ticketed people are coming in, it’s people standing out there in the midst of all this [dust] so we’re going to do some of the high-pressure roads up there this year for 2023 and we’re very, very thankful for all the South Dakota soybean farmers who are pitching in on this project here for the state fair.”

Feige is a former member of the South Dakota Soybean Association board as well as the board of the Checkoff-supported U.S. Soybean Export Council. He’s combined his career in farming, from which he’s now retired, with promoting new uses for soybeans and soybean oil.

“The opportunity for dust control came from one of the board members up there with me from Minnesota,” said Feige. “I did get involved in a personal way with that about 23-and-a-half years ago, way back, and that was kind of my summertime gig trying to promote the benefits of soybean oil on gravel or aggregate roads.”

Dustlock is non-toxic, according to Feige, but many of the health benefits are because of the absence of dust resulting from its use.

“When we’re really hot and dry like what we’ve been this year, you really see more reaction with a lot of dust blowing around a given area. Certainly, if it rains, that just takes care of it instantly, so we think of it kind of like a rain, I mean we do stop that dust 100 percent,” he said. “The health effects are a huge benefit for both humans and for livestock.”

While many years have passed since his service to South Dakota and national soybean boards, Fiege fondly recalls that time and looks at it as an important contribution. He encourages soybean farmers to consider involvement on a membership or checkoff board.

“Yeah, we’re all farmers; our beans go to town whether it goes to the processors or whether it goes to an elevator, but guess what, all these products go somewhere, and working toward the big picture really is why we’re doing so well now,” said Feige. “I mean a lot of the work that so many people had done ten, fifteen years ago, twenty years ago, is the reason we’re really creating such demand for products now that are reflected in the prices that we’re getting paid.”