SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS FARMERS GET NEW MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH OILSEEDS!
Oklahoma City-based processing plant to expand Products
novel investment from an unusual alliance of agricultural producers is
bringing expansion and growth to an Oklahoma City-based oilseed
processing facility, where finished food-grade oil products and oil for
biofuels will be produced and marketed.
Built in 1944, the
Producers Cooperative Oil Mill (PCOM), located near downtown Oklahoma
City, will have capacity to process products from Winter Canola,
sunflowers and other oilseeds.
A newly signed agreement
between PCOM and Plains Oilseed Products Cooperative (POP), a
farmer-owned coop, will make farm producers a part of the value-added
coop to market these new generation products and enhance their
The alliance brings new opportunities for farmers in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, said Gene Neuens, POP executive director.
than six years of research by Oklahoma State University and Kansas
State University to better understand the value and yields of winter
Canola has resulted in this unusual joint venture between an oilseed
crusher, Oklahoma State University, a national seed supplier, and
American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company (Oklahoma
Farmers Union) to add to the economic development of rural America,”
The project had help from many agricultural and
industry leaders and producers, including Oklahoma Farmers Union;
Monsanto Dekalb Genetics; U.S. Department of Agriculture; Plains
Oilseed Products; Producers Cooperative Oil Mill; Oklahoma Department
of Agriculture, Food and Forestry; and Robert M. Kerr Food &
Agricultural Products Center.
As a result, Southern Great Plains
wheat farmers will gain significant benefits in several ways by growing
Winter Canola, an oilseed adapted to the southern growing region,
“Rotating Roundup Ready Winter Canola with wheat
crops will give farmers the benefit of better weed control and
increased yields, while producers will have marketing contracts to know
what their oilseed is worth before planting time,” Neuens said.
newly expanded oilseed crushing plant in Oklahoma City will offer
producers several local delivery points throughout the Southern Great
Plains, saving them transportation costs to more northern markets.
Company will deliver Winter Canola seed to farmers through their
network of seed dealers and also invest in building infrastructure and
providing a ready market in the Southern Great Plains.
continue to work with grain handlers across the Southern Great Plains
to establish additional local delivery points for growers’ oilseed
Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers Energy Enterprise (OKFREE),
formed by Oklahoma Farmers Union, gained early value through a USDA
value-added grant to study the feasibility of processing oilseed and
understand the key market opportunities for using the crops in the food
and biofuels industry. OKFREE also invested funds and in-kind
contributions to ensure producers a local facility that could contract
to crush the oilseeds and produce the final products.
received a value-added cooperative marketing loan from the Ag
Enhancement Diversification Program, a division of the Oklahoma
Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
“The investment –
from seed to finished oil – in the Southern Great Plains is a key focus
of many rural policy makers to help local producers become successfully
diversified and grow a dynamic agriculture economy,” Neuens said.
western Oklahoma, producers have been searching for alternative and
value-added crop opportunities as an option for improving profits and
expanding the utilization of natural resources, specifically their
land. With continuing low prices and subsequent depressed profits for
soybeans, canola, sunflowers, cotton and peanuts. Oklahoma family
farmers have undertaken this oilseed initiative. Believing through
cooperative action they can improve farm income to oilseed producers by
double cropping, product diversification, crushing their oilseeds,
refining the crude oil, packaging the refined oil and marketing it
directly to the consumer.
In 2003, seed producers and
technical advisors formed a steering committee and created Oklahoma
Farmers & Ranchers Energy Enterprise LLC (OKFREE). OKFREE was formed
to determine the feasibility of owning and operating a seed crushing
and further processing facility in western Oklahoma. Oklahoma Farmers
Union was instrumental in assisting with the formation of the steering
committee, funded the writing of the USDA grant application and
continues to provide support by providing for office space, meeting
facilities and materials.
A $235,000 United States Department
of Agriculture, Value Added Market Development grant enabled OKFREE to
complete a detailed oilseed feasibility study and business plan.
Oklahoma State University was selected as the contractor to provide
these services. Drs. Phil Kenkel and Rodney Holcomb at OSU have
extensively examined the feasibility of manufacturing and marketing
oils and meals from the proposed facility, with significant input on
product characteristics and processing options provided by Dr. Nurhan
The initial steering committee and advisors have
devoted a considerable amount of time and resources, visiting other
crushing facilities, researching raw material supply, studying time
path adoptions of canola, identifying markets, studying technology and
equipment and establishing the appropriate business structure.
This forward thinking Oklahoma producers formed OKFREE with the
objective of creating a producer-owned oilseed processing enterprise.
After significant due diligence review of the business plan documents
and discussions regarding the business structure for the processing
entity, Plains Oilseed Producers, LLC (POP) was formed on January 3,
2007. POP, an Oklahoma limited liability company, plans to construct,
own and operate a state-of-the-art oilseed processing plant in western
Oklahoma. The plant will be able to crush many different oilseeds, such
as canola, sunflowers, peanuts, soybeans and any other oilseed grown in
Oklahoma. The plant will add to the economic development of rural
Oklahoma and provide Oklahoma agricultural producers with a new market
for their current and future oilseed crops.
According to the
business plan, POP anticipates processing over 100,000 tons of oilseeds
each year, producing approximately 57 million pounds (7.7 million
gallons) of oil, to market to food-grade oil refiners and biodiesel
plants. The plant will also produce over 69,000 tons of canola and
other meals annually, which will be marketed to Oklahoma feed
manufacturers and large-scale dairies.
During January 2007, POP
submitted an application to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture,
Food & Forestry Market Development Services for an Agriculture
Enhancement & Diversification Cooperative Marketing Loan. This
application was approved and POP will utilize these funds to continue
the project development and marketing activities.
venture will strive to not only capture value, but to also create
value, by adding profits in both ways to our agricultural production;
and producers can affect the potential for risk and reward. POP’s Board
of Managers are confident the proposed venture is one that not only can
be driven by customer needs and perceptions, but also one that will be
strongly supported by local, state and federal clean air and
sustainable energy initiatives.
Contact: Gene Neuens, Project Development Coordinator ~ 800 North Harvey, OKC, OK 73102 ~ 405.218.5753
POP Board of Managers: Matt
Gard, President - Fairview, OK; Terry Detrick, Vice-President -
Oklahoma City, OK; Mark Holder, Secretary/Treasurer - Altus, OK; Walt
Grabow - Omega, OK; Jerry Hedges - Vici, OK; Pete McDaniel - Apache,
OK; Clay Pope - Loyal, OK.