An exciting, value-added project has broken ground in South Dakota. Prairie Aquatech of Volga is a $60 million facility that will turn the region's soybeans into aquaculture feed.
At the groundbreaking CEO Mark Luecke says they partnered with South Dakota Soybean Processors to commercialize this soybean meal conversion process.
"And what you're left with is a microbially enhanced protein, soy-protein that's good for fish, because they can digest it better," Luecke says.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard says with declining fish meal supplies this product fills a niche and is cheaper.
"$1,200, $1,300 a ton as opposed to $1,800 a ton. That means that this market is ripe and ready for this type of a product," he says.
The initial SDSU research was funded by the South Dakota Soybean Council and United Soybean Board due to the growing global aquaculture market.
"So this is a real opportunity for us to be able to feed that market and feed those fish a very high-quality product," says Lewis Bainbridge.
The plant will produce 30,000 tons of feed a year. It will be ready to go next spring.