SUCO, LLC, a company organized by a group of area farmers and business people, has announced its plans to build a food-grade soybean processing plant on a 17-acre site adjacent to the south edge of Qulin, Mo.

SUCO, LLC has been in the planning stages for more than two years. The concept stemmed from a vision by Jerry and Janice Suiter, owners of Hopkins Seed and Chemical, Inc. in Qulin. The privately owned agronomy and grain company serves farmers in eastern Butler, Northwestern Dunklin, and Stoddard counties in the Bootheel area of Missouri and areas of northeast Arkansas.

The plant will utilize approximately 4.5 million bushels of locally grown soybeans and produce nearly 101,000 tons of soybean meal and 44 million pounds of soybean oil annually. These products will be marketed regionally to poultry and swine producers, as well as pet food operations in the region.

“We plan to utilize a new proprietary technology that increases the soybean oil extraction from a mechanical press to handle more than 400 tons per day. It will be only the second feed based plant in the nation to use carbon dioxide as an all-natural solvent/cooling agent to increase the amount of oil extracted from the soybean,” said Jerry Suiter, owner of Hopkins Seed & Chemical, Inc.

Processed soybeans are the largest source of protein feed and vegetable oil in the world. Soybean oil is found in food products such as margarine, salad dressings and cooking oils, and has many industrial applications.

After removal of the soybean oil, the remaining flakes can be processed into various edible soy protein products or used to produce soybean meal for animal feeds.

Since it is hexane free, the soybean meal from this plant has added health benefits for human and animal consumption. The goal of SUCO, LLC is to focus on food grade applications, and with the absence of the highly corrosive carcinogen hexane by-products, SUCO will stand apart from other processors.

“We truly believe this area is ideal for this kind of plant. The eight-county district in the Bootheel area which includes Butler, Dunklin, and Stoddard counties produced more than 32 million bushels of soybeans in 2005 and nearly 38 million bushels in 2006,” Suiter added.

For more information on SUCO, LLC contact Jamie Suiter at 1-573-328-4132.