field peas closeup
PULSE DEMAND: Pulse crops, like these field peas, are processed at a new plant in South Dakota.

South Dakota pulse plant seeks to raise $1 million

South Dakota Pulse Processors is up and running again after start-up setback.

By Lance Nixon

South Dakota Pulse Processors, Harrold, S.D., is seeking an additional $1 million from investors — this after about 86 investors came up with some $3 million to help fund the plant’s start-up more than a year ago. The company was formed with the intent to process yellow field peas and lentils. Its initial capacity was planned at 550,000 bushels of mixed products annually, 60% for the export market.

The plant began operations in January 2017 but shut down in February for more than five months when it learned it had to re-do some electrical work and replace more than 200 electric motors installed by a Turkish contractor because the motors didn’t meet electrical code.

“That’s really been a blow to us. We’ve used our capital up refitting and paying employees while not producing,” says Tom Young, board president and Pierre-area farmer. “We’ve been working with lenders and finances to try to get over this hurdle.”

Having limited finances has also kept the plant from buying as much product as managers would like for processing.

Raising additional money after that unexpected setback in 2017 may be tough to do in the current ag economy, Young says. But he notes that the plant has been once again filling contracts for pulse products since August 2017. Pulse crops remain in demand worldwide as a major source of protein.

For more information, contact South Dakota Pulse Processors at 605-875-3535 or visit sdpulse.com.

Nixon is a Pierre, S.D., freelance writer.

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