In its fourth year, the See for Yourself experience allows South Dakota soybean farmers the opportunity to see firsthand how their checkoff works for them. With support from the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council soybean farmers traveled to Washington State to tour port facilities and learn about the importance of international markets to the soybean industry.
The group’s first stop was the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA is currently researching alternative feed ingredients in fish diets. Fishmeal can be expensive, as the product has reached over $2,000 a ton. Soy protein is not only a more affordable feed option but also has a large quantity of protein and oil which can be beneficial in certain species of fish diets. The availability and sustainability of a soy diet along with the affordability make it a desirable feed alternative for aquaculture farms.
The group also visited export facility TEMCO. Located in Tacoma, Washington, the facility is a 50-50 joint venture between CHS and Cargill. TEMCO is a part of the Port of Tacoma, which is a major center for container cargo, bulk, break-bulk, autos, and heavy-lift cargo.
TEMCO was built for efficiency. The facility can unload 80,000 bushels or approximately 15 rail cars an hour and load 100,000 bushels of soybeans an hour on an outbound Panamax vessel. A Panamax vessel measures 225 meters in length and 32 meters wide. One Panamax vessel can hold 2.3-2.7 million bushels of soybeans, or between 51,000-60,000 acres. To fill one Panamax vessel, it takes 600-650 rail cars, which stretch approximately seven miles long.
The group will continue their journey in the Pacific Northwest on Thursday with stops at Grays Harbor, AGP, and Imperium Renewables.