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MnSP gets USDA payment

Brian Korthals/Daily Globe Pictured above is the MnSP plant in Brewster.

BREWSTER -- A nearly $2.3 million payment to Minnesota Soybean Processors will help offset two years of fiscal losses and ensure the facility's 80 employees keep processing soybeans into oil and biodiesel at the rural Brewster facility.

The payment, announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is among six payments awarded throughout Minnesota, and more than 160 payments made nationwide. The funds were designated from the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels through the 2008 Farm Bill.

MnSP was the largest recipient of funds in Minnesota in this, the second year of the four-year payment program. Funds are geared toward production of advanced biofuels not made from corn starch. Last year, MnSP received approximately $964,000.

The $2,267,925 payment to MnSP is based on biofuel production from Oct. 1, 2009 through Sept. 30, 2010, according to general manager Taryl Enderson. He anticipates they will receive money during each of the next two years to offset production costs for biodiesel.

"(The money) is based on what you produced in comparison to all other companies," Enderson said. "We were one of the only ones running during that time."

Enderson said the payment is "very important" to MnSP.

"We've not laid off any employees and, in fact, been able to hire more," he said on Tuesday.

MnSP has been operating at full production for quite a while now, crushing about 110,000 bushels of soybeans and producing approximately 100,000 gallons of biodiesel daily. They are shipping about 100,000 gallons of biodiesel daily, both by truck and rail.

"By truck, it goes locally to truck stops," Enderson said, adding that CHS (Cenex-Harvest States) and Western Petroleum are some of the major purchasers, in addition to the larger petroleum companies.

Demand for biodiesel picked up about six months ago, after the RFS2 (Renewable Fuels Standard 2) rule was implemented.

"The RFS2 is requiring 100 million gallons of renewable energy to be used (by the petroleum industry) to try to replace some of the foreign oil," Enderson said.

Increased production, and the USDA payment to offset losses, is good news not only for MnSP, but for its farmer-members.

"We're a farmer-owned cooperative, so hopefully those dollars will flow through and back to the farmer's hands too," Enderson said.

USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer said the payments will help support biofuels and ensure continued production.

"Renewable energy production creates jobs, powers homes and businesses and reduces our nation's dependence on foreign energy sources," said Landkamer. "These payments support America's growing advanced biofuels industry and will have a major impact right here in Minnesota."

Other payment recipients in Minnesota included Cargill, Inc., $1,988,625; FUMPA BioFuels, $198,575; West River Dairy, $27,850; and Riverview Dairy, $29,584.

Eligible recipients included those who produce biofuels derived from vegetable oil and animal fats, cellulose, crop residue, animal, food and yard waste, and gases from landfill or sewage waste treatment.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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