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West Central announces $27m plant expansion

West Central plans expansion to increase high bypass protein soybean meal availability.

West Central, the manufacturer of SoyPlus, a high-bypass protein dairy feed, announced June 3 its plan for a major expansion that would increase production capacity by 50%.

The $27 million investment in Ralston, Iowa, is slated to include an additional line of mechanical presses, soybean storage, soybean oil storage, finished product storage and load-out access. The company plans for actual production to come online in phases with new production volumes available as early as fall 2016.

Mark Cullen, executive vice president of animal nutrition at West Central, said, "Expanding the process at our current manufacturing site allows us to continue our more than 30 year tradition of going beyond bypass with customer service and supply chain reliability."

Due to strong domestic and international demand for SoyPlus, the company’s current Ralston facility has been producing at maximum capacity for more than a year.

The company plans to expand its current ISO and hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) certifications upon construction completion and will continue to transport finished product by truck and rail.

As a farmer-owned cooperative, West Central originates soybeans from more than a dozen counties in western Iowa. At full capacity, the SoyPlus expansion would create demand for an additional 6 million bu. of soybeans each year and create 11 full-time jobs.

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