As acreage of pulse crops grows in Montana, Pardue Grain Inc. is planning to invest $6.4 million to upgrade the sorting, sizing, cleaning, and bagging capabilities of its Cut Bank processing plant.
“Pardue Grain is going to be able to increase Montana producers’ access to foreign and domestic markets for value-added and Montana-branded products,” the firm’s owner, Roger Sammons, said in a state press release announcing the investment.
$5 million of the investment was loaned to the firm through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Program. Following the project’s completion, the upgraded facility will offer toll processing services to area pulse producers and eight new workers will be hired.
“We will process product for various buyers and producers,” Sammons told the Cut Bank Pioneer Press in a March 7 article. “For example, if a producer had an idea and wanted to go straight to the retail market with the product, we can offer the service to clean and bag the product to assist them.”
Montana is America’s leading of producer of pulse crops, which include dry beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas. Acreage of pulse crops in the state climbed from 600,209 in 2013 to 1.5 million in 2017, according to data from the Montana Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Development & Marketing Bureau.