Soybean Barge Company Expands Ohio River Processing Plant

Oct 6, 2016

Consolidated Grain & Barge opened its Mt. Vernon, Ind. processing plant and barge facility on the Ohio River in the late 1990s.
Credit Consolidated Grain & Barge

A major soybean distributor will spend more than $30 million to expand its operations on the Ohio River.

Consolidated Grain & Barge, or CGB, is aiming to capitalize on growing export markets in countries like China by expanding its plant at the Port of Indiana-Mt. Vernon in Posey County.

This map shows how grain makes its way to ports on the Gulf of Mexico for export. Some is also moved by rail to Pacific Northwest ports.
Credit Christopher Hurt / Purdue Agricultural Economics

The expansion will more than double CGB's soybean processing capacity there, with a new daily output that will fill 130 semi-trucks, or around three river barges.

Those will make their way down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.

From there, the whole soybeans, soy meal to feed animals and soybean oil can be exported -- especially to China, which buys half of all U.S. soybeans.

Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt says demand is on the rise.

 

"And in order to meet that increasing demand, we have to have capacity to handle and process these products," he says. "And that's really what CGB is doing: They're putting that capacity in place for the growth they see coming."

Soybean exports from the U.S. to China have risen sharply in recent years.
Credit Christopher Hurt / Purdue Agricultural Economics

 

The CGB plant in southwest Indiana pulls in grain from farmers around the region. It's one of four grain barging companies in the state.

Indiana is fourth nationally for soybean production.