Texans install soybean extruder Jeff and George Tamplin found a soybean market that pays 25›/bu more than their local elevator. They sell to themselves.

That's right. The Tamplins, of Dalhart, TX, installed a soybean extruding system that can handle every bean they produce, along with 80,000 bu or more from other farmers who also get premium prices.

They make and sell high-quality soybean meal as well as oil from the extruding process. The result is a 15-20% profit from beans they buy from themselves and others.

The Tamplins moved to Texas from a South Dakota farm/cattle operation three years ago. They grow irrigated beans, corn, wheat and native grass, plus they run stocker cattle and operate a grower yard for calves. The operation is located near several mega-hog operations that have sprung up in the semi-arid High Plains region.

"That's one reason we decided to put in the bean extruder plant," says Jeff.

He's still waiting to develop a contract with a swine facility. But until then, he sells the meal to dairies and the oil to feedyards as a fat supplement. He also buys about 10% of the production for use in his grower ration and as a supplement for cattle grazing winter wheat pasture and cornstalks.

The extruder is an Insta-Pro dry extruding system. It eliminates, or lowers to safe levels, anti-nutritional factors such as trypsin and chymotrypsin, which hamper protein digestion in livestock.

"We produce two types of meal," says Tamplin. "One is 46% protein and 6-8% fat, and is sold primarily to dairies. The other is a full-fat meal that's 38-40% protein and 20-22% fat. That goes to our cattle operation and other feedyards. Extruded oil is marketed and then trucked to a buyer in Illinois."

Last year the Tamplins ran close to 80,000 bu of beans through the plant. They look to double that this year and process more in 2001. With the premium they pay to growers for beans, they shouldn't have any problem in finding enough product.

"Our local bean basis is about 70› under (November futures)," says Tamplin. "I contract with growers for 45› under or about 25› more than they would receive at the elevator. That's a good price for this area, which is still low on bean production."

Installing the extruder was no small investment. Tamplin has about $300,000 invested in the system. He generates a reasonable profit if he can sell the high-quality meal and oil for up to $75 more than he pays for the beans needed to produce them.

"With a bean price of about $4/bu, it costs about $160 to buy enough beans to produce 1 ton of meal and the fat by-product," he says. "I try to sell the meal and fat for about $235. That gives me a good profit."

The Tamplins intend to sell meal and oil to more dairies and feedyards, and to expand the sale of oil shipped via rail.

"We have a high-quality meal that's 6-8% fat compared to most other meal that's fat-free," he says. "The meal is new to many cattlemen, but they're seeing its value as an excellent feed. That's why we can often charge a premium."

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