Fort Dodge, IA — NEW Cooperative held a ground breaking ceremony on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, for the Port of Blencoe along the Missouri River.
Due to rainy conditions the ceremony was moved from the site of the new port to the shop at the nearby Blencoe location. The shipping and receiving port will be located 2.5 miles west of the Blencoe exit 105 on Interstate 29.
Once completed next summer, this 38-acre site will be the most northern active port on the Missouri River. The Port of Blencoe is expected to annually accommodate 240,000 tons of soybeans, corn, dried distillers grains (DDGS), dry fertilizers and ag lime and will have the capacity to unload, clean, and reload up to nine barges at a time.
“Through NEW Cooperative, the new port will allow western Iowa farmers direct access to world export and import markets,” Dan Dix, NEW Cooperative general manager said. Iowa farmers need every advantage they can get. Years of low commodity prices, droughts, tariffs, and most recently the derecho have devastated Iowa producers. This project is designed to bring some much-needed help to an industry so vital to us all.”
Special guest speakers at the ground breaking ceremony included; Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director from Soy Transportation Coalition, Debi Durham, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Tammy Bramley, Monona County Board of Supervisors, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Reynolds said NEW Cooperative is more than just a partner in the field.
“With the addition of this port here on the Missouri River, as an innovator in moving grain to international markets, you’ll be instrumental in opening up an untapped world of opportunities for business and industries in this region,” Reynolds said.
Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, also spoke.
NEW Cooperative's 38-acre Port of Blencoe site on the Missouri River. NEW Cooperative photo.
“In my role with the Soy Transportation Coalition, it is our aspiration to decrease the number of logistical steps between a farmer growing soybeans and an international customer," Steenhoek said. "This an opportunity to decrease the number of those logistical steps will translate into farmers receiving a greater economic value for the soybeans they produce.
"As a farmer-owned and led company, NEW Cooperative’s investment in a new supply chain option shortens the distance between the farmer and the overseas customer."
The Port of Blencoe has the capacity to attract, develop, and retain business activity that brings a flow of revenue into Monona County that in turn generates income and other jobs through an economic multiplier effect.
Dix said NEW Cooperative’s goal is to load barges late this fall and start upstream deliveries in the spring 2021. Upstream shipments of fertilizers, aggregates, and other commodities will arrive into the site to be stored and marketed through wholesale partners as well as NEW’s customers.
“I believe this Port has the potential to grow into a sizeable engine of economic growth for area industries and their surrounding communities. The over the fence opportunities on this 38 acre site offers are endless.” said Dix.
About NEW Cooperative, Inc.
NEW Cooperative, Inc is a farmer-owned grain, agronomy, energy, and feed cooperative with 40 locations throughout western and northwest region of Iowa. In addition to their continually strong grain services, NEW Cooperative operates 6 feed mills and offers fertilizer and seed resources through a professional staff and quality facilities. Further agronomic opportunities in soil mapping, site-specific field management and precision technology services are offered through their Precision Ag department. The service and solutions found at NEW Cooperative demonstrate that they continue to be an innovative and efficient provider for today’s agriculture producer.