Renewable Farming

Proposed new Iowa soybean processing venture would offer $1.50 per bu. premium

The nutrition and health benefits of non-GMO soybean meal are growing so clear that poultry and livestock feeders are bidding for it. Especially, for meal produced by extrusion, rather than hexane solvent extraction.

Financial plans and facilities for just such a production plant is underway at Marengo in southeast Iowa. The building, 27 acres and rail siding are under contract for “Heartland Crush LLC.” The organizers are inviting farmers and other investors to team up for a facility that can process 1.5 million bu. of soybeans per year.

Initially, 250 memberships are being offered. For $20,000, a farmer can deliver up to 20,000 bu. of verified non-GMO soybeans — at a price of $1.50 per bushel over local cash prices for genetically modified beans.

Heartland Crush LLC is organized by the owners of BRT Ag & Turf of Ladora, IA:  Keith Schlapkohl and Jeff Buresh. A prospectus with full details is available from Jeff Buresh at the Ladora headquarters: 877-623-8808.

Investors who don’t need to market beans this way can lend any amount over $20,000 to the company at 8% interest for two years. Or, they can purchase a limited partnership membership for $20,000 and collect dividends on operating profits.

Also, members will receive a discount on meal and oil produced by the plant, along with priority for delivery.

The plant will use an advanced expeller processing system known to produce meal with 10% to 15% higher digestible nutrient value than ordinary solvent-extracted bean meal. Livestock and poultry producers are already paying as much as $100 per ton premium for non-GMO soybean meal. Hog producers, for example, report far fewer reproductive problems with non-GMO meal, along with generally improved animal health. 

The expeller system includes a process which extracts lecithin, further raising livestock feeding benefits.

Non-GMO soybean oil is also in strong demand. The Heartland Crush system will use an “emulsification” process to produce a superior soy oil.

BRT has a loyal following of farmer clients, mostly within easy hauling distance of the new plant, who can readily raise and deliver 1.5 million bu. of soybeans. That’s about 30,000 acres. Already, many of BRT’s clients are experienced with raising non-GMO soybeans, as they’re intent on improving soil biology and crop quality. 

Keith Schlapkohl, who has hosted BRT field days on his farm near Stockton for many years, says that BRT is also capable of helping growers improve the quality of their soybeans — test weight and protein content — with proven fertility and foliar nutrients. For example, BRT offers a long-established foliar micronutrient mix, V5 Foliar Micros, which helps attain full-season nutritional health. Keith’s intent is to market WakeUP Summer as a companion for their V5 Foliar Micros. This combination was used in one of our earliest field trials where we tissue-tested to demonstrate greatly enhanced trace element transfer by tank-mixing the trace blend with WakeUP. 

Here at Renewable Farming, we’ve used several products from BRT, including a gypsum which has helped us greatly improve soil structure the past four seasons.

For a glimpse BRT’s primary product line, you can download a PDF page with a listing of their main products for farmers.