- Associated Press - Thursday, May 4, 2017

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - A northeastern South Dakota city is building a soybean processing plant that is expected to handle 20 percent of the region’s beans.

The Aberdeen News (https://bit.ly/2qICLwh ) reported that the city of Aberdeen held a groundbreaking Wednesday for the Ag Processing Inc. plant. The facility is expected to employ about 50 people and will buy soybeans within a 100-mile radius of the city. It’s scheduled to begin operating in 2019.

The cost of the project hasn’t been disclosed, but Aberdeen Mayor Mike Levsen said the facility is expected to be the biggest economic development project in city history. Levsen said the project will resonate across the state.

“I think that we could speculate that it won’t be very many years where when the majority of people in South Dakota think of Aberdeen, they’ll think of the home of AGP. We’re going to Soybean City here,” he said.

Ag Processing CEO Keith Spackler said the Aberdeen facility will be the company’s largest investment.

The company purchased 300 acres of land for the facility in June, for about $3 million from the Aberdeen Development Corp. But the processing facility will have a small footprint on the land, Spackler said. Features like scales, buffer zones and railroad tracks will take up more room.

“We’ve left space for additional construction in the future, absolutely,” said Steve Hansen, the company’s vice president of engineering.

South Dakota farmers planted 5.2 million acres and harvested more than 250 million bushels of soybeans last year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics.

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Information from: Aberdeen American News, https://www.aberdeennews.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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