See for Yourself Participants Visit Grays Harbor

Day two of the See for Yourself experience started at the Port of Grays Harbor. The Port not only ships grains but also logs, automobiles, equipment and wood chips. With its location 12 nautical miles or 1.5 hours from open sea, the Port is an important link to the Pacific-Rim markets. It can take 18 days for a shipment of soybean meal to arrive in the Philippines.

The countries that are purchasing U.S. soybean meal surprised Corey Johannsen, a soybean farmer from Tolstoy. “I didn’t realize how much meal was purchased by the Philippians. Also, we hear a lot about China, to learn about the emerging market of India was interesting, they are a country to watch in the future.”

SFY Ship 2

The Ag Processing, Inc. (AGP) terminal, located in the Port of Grays Harbor continues to grow with a record of 1.6 million metric tons of US grown grains shipped through the facility. The facility can handle 1,500 metric tons an hour, which equates to 60,000 bushels an hour.

“I finally had the opportunity to see where my soybeans go after they leave my farm. It would be interesting to see now them continue with the end user,” said Nick Lorang, a Mt. Vernon soybean farmer.

The group also visited Imperium Renewable, Inc. (IRI) at the Port of Grays Harbor. The nation’s largest running BQ-9000 certified biodiesel refinery, IRI can produce 100 million gallons of biodiesel a year. IRI is a tri-modal facility meaning they use three methods of transportation (ship, rail, and truck) to bring materials into the facility and transport the finished product out.

Michael Huth, a soybean farmer from Wakonda, was excited to participate in the See for Yourself experience. “After seeing our checkoff dollars at work, I believe it is the best investment I’ve ever made as a farmer.”

The group ended its tours of the Pacific Northwest ports Thursday and traveled back to South Dakota.