FORT DODGE, IOWA, US — The NEW Cooperative, Inc. has broken ground to build the Port of Blencoe along the Missouri River.

The shipping and receiving port will be located 2.5 miles west of the Blencoe exit 105 on Interstate 29.

The Port of Blencoe, a 38-acre site, is expected to annually accommodate 240,000 tonnes of soybeans, corn, dried distillers grains (DDGS), dry fertilizers and ag lime and will have the capacity to unload, clean, and reload up to nine barges at a time.

“Through NEW Cooperative, the new port will allow western Iowa farmers direct access to world export and import markets,” said Dan Dix, general manager of NEW Cooperative. “Iowa farmers need every advantage they can get. Years of low commodity prices, droughts, tariffs, and most recently the derecho have devastated Iowa producers. This project is designed to bring some much-needed help to an industry so vital to us all.”

The NEW Cooperative hosted a ground-breaking ceremony on Sept. 9 to celebrate the new construction.

“With the addition of this port here on the Missouri River, as an innovator in moving grain to international markets, you’ll be instrumental in opening up an untapped world of opportunities for business and industries in this region,” said Kim Reynolds, governor of Iowa during the ground breaking ceremony.

Dix said NEW Cooperative’s goal is to load barges late this fall and start upstream deliveries in the spring of 2021. Upstream shipments of fertilizers, aggregates, and other commodities will arrive into the site to be stored and marketed through wholesale partners as well as NEW’s customers.

“I believe this port has the potential to grow into a sizeable engine of economic growth for area industries and their surrounding communities,” Dix said. “The over-the-fence opportunities this 38-acre site offers are endless.”

The port is the latest project that the NEW Cooperative is constructing. In early September, the cooperative announced plans to build a new grain facility with a new pelleting feed mill in Cooper, Iowa, US. The grain facility is expected to be ready to receive grain in the fall of 2021 with the feed mill to be completed shortly thereafter.

According to Sosland Publishing’s 2020 Grain & Milling Annual, the NEW Cooperative has a total of 35 grain storage facilities with a total licensed grain storage capacity of 114.7 million bushels.

NEW Cooperative, Inc. is a farmer-owned grain, agronomy, energy, and feed cooperative with 39 locations throughout western and northwest region of Iowa. In addition to continual grain services, NEW Cooperative operates six feed mills and offers fertilizer and seed resources.