GOODLAND, Kan. (KSNW) — A grain processing facility near Goodland will soon be retrofitted to process grain for the renewable energy sector.

Nebraska-based Scoular announced that the former sunflower crush facility outside of Goodland that they purchased in 2021 will be retrofitted. The facility will be converted to crush soybean and canola to extract oil to be used in the biodiesel and sustainable aviation fuel markets.

Those markets are expected to grow by over 5 billion gallons in the next two years. The retrofit will allow the facility to process 11 million bushels a year, switching between canola and soybean as availability dictates. They will also be able to process future low-carbon crops like camelina.

“Scoular is bringing the canola market back to Kansas and Oklahoma,” says Senior Vice President of Emerging Businesses Ed Prosser in a news release. “This investment will provide producers with the opportunity to participate in the booming renewable fuels market.” 

The company is working with experts at Kansas State University to advise farmers on the best practices for growing canola. Canola is a good crop For planting in a winter wheat rotation as it can prevent weed growth and improve wheat yields.

“The recommissioning of the crush facility in Goodland will breathe new life into the Great Plains canola industry,” says Kansas State agronomist and canola breeder Michael Stamm. “This facility will provide new opportunities for renewable diesel feedstock production, generating greater value for the canola grown in the region.”

“In small towns across Kansas, every business counts,” says U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas. “Scoular’s decision to invest in the crush facility in Goodland will increase marketing opportunities for farmers and contribute to the economic prosperity of northwest Kansas. The Goodland oilseed processing plant is an important juncture for farming in western Kansas and food and fuel production for the nation.”

The retrofit is expected to be completed by the fall of 2024. It is expected to create at least 40 new jobs.