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A Once-in-a-Generation Transformation Coming for North Dakota’s Soybean Industry

In the coming years, North Dakota’s soybean industry could be the focus of what is being called a once-in-a-generation transformation, with two new processing plants on pace to open in 2023 and 2024 to meet growing domestic demand for biofuels.

Over the next four years, U.S. total soybean crushing capacity could jump by as much as 30 percent, as more than a dozen new planned facilities or expansion projects will be undertaken - a result of the nationwide wave of investment being seen in soybean processing to supply renewable diesel makers.

This evolution within the industry will result in shifts to typical trade flows, as U.S. soybean exports give way to domestic demand. This change will be most evident in North Dakota - the fourth largest U.S. soy state by planted acres, which ships out about 70 percent of its harvest to China. Instead, these new facilities will process half of the state's soybean harvest for biofuel and livestock feed.

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