Aug 02, 2022

Will Labor Shortage Impede Soybean Crush Plant Growth?

Now is time to promote agriculture’s role in sustainability to attract young job seekers

A huge increase in soybean crush capacity is just over the horizon. A glance at our Grain Facility Construction Roundup cover story clearly illustrates this with new soybean crushing plants making up more than 50% of the projects listed.

Spurred by the “carbon wave,” demand for soybean oil — the most common feedstock for renewable biodiesel production — has steadily increased over the last several years. Between 2009 and 2019, biodiesel was the largest growing demand sector for soybean oil in the U.S. with a 300% increase, according to the National Biodiesel Board.

‘Now Hiring’ for surge of new soybean facilities

With the rise in new and newly expanded soybean crush plants also comes an enormous need for labor. The United States Energy & Employment Report 2022 found that in 2021, the clean fuels industry added jobs at a rate of 6.7% and it projected job growth of 5.8% in manufacturing for 2022.

Each of the newly constructed plants mentioned in our Construction Roundup will have an average of 55 positions to fill, while expanding facilities will require 10 or more new hires each. That’s a lot of job openings for a sector already struggling with labor shortages!

Wanted: Creative hiring practices

With the great resignation resulting from COVID-19, competition for labor in ag processing facilities will continue to present challenges. If you’re like many other companies struggling to hire, now is the time to start exploring more creative recruitment practices like paying for social media posts, offering sign-on bonuses and considering flexible schedules to appeal to today’s workforce.

You may find success in promoting sustainability in the posted job description. Young job seekers increasingly report a desire for careers connected to solving global challenges like climate change.

The biodiesel and renewable diesel industry holds vast economic opportunities, supporting 65,000 U.S. jobs and more than $17 billion in economic activity each year. With promotion and effective communication of these rapidly expanding and exciting prospects, leaders can help attract people where their talents are needed in grain handling and processing.

Elise Schafer

Recently Added to Buyer's Guide

Ribbon Blenders

  • 5-cubic-foot unit features special three-piece grate designed with angled and pitched profile
  • All three sections of the grating have position sensors which interlock with the control panel, ensuring operator safety while running

Infinifeed Loop

  • Continuous feed loop system
  • Capacities available up to 1,800 bushels/hour

Loop Conveyor System

  • Can be used to fill and empty grain bins and flat storage structures or applied to feed processing and other conveying applications
  • Available in 8-, 10- and 12-inch diameters with capacities up to 10,000 bushels/hour


  • 5-minute ELISA testing kit
  • Use a common extraction protocol for ease of use

Q-Sage Air Screen Cleaners

  • Separates grain by length and size to specifications
  • Numerous flow patterns available to accommodate each unique product and processing need

Vertical Blender

  • For reliable, gentle mixing of friable solids, abrasive materials and shear-sensitive products
  • For processing large volumes where floor space is limited


Marketwatch: Aug, 18

US Corn Price Idx: ZCPAUS.CM

open: 6.6945
high: 6.737
low: 6.6326
close: 6.6866

US Soybean Price Idx: ZSPAUS.CM

open: 14.3219
high: 14.4169
low: 14.2107
close: 14.3029

US Hard Red Winter Wheat Price Idx: KEPAUS.CM

open: 8.3035
high: 8.351
low: 7.9626
close: 8.0508

US Soft Red Winter Wheat Price Idx: ZWPAUS.CM

open: 7.3573
high: 7.4048
low: 7.0429
close: 7.0505