The Boone County Commission on Tuesday granted a conditional use permit to the Missouri Soybean Association to build a soybean laboratory at 5601 S. Rangeline Road .
The permit allows the association to construct two buildings on the 98.36-acre spot of land – one laboratory and one office building.
The permit was granted on the condition that there would be no sales of farm implements on the property. This came after confusion that sprang from an article in the Columbia Daily Tribune, which said that the association planned to sell farm equipment on the land.
“There’s no intention to sell equipment or anything else on this site,” said project engineer Chris Sanders of Crockett Engineering Consultants.
Joe Parcell, associate professor of agricultural economics at MU and researcher for the association, said the lab will be used for research into soybeans and seed development.
Researchers there will do analysis on the beans, looking inside them for components — like protein — that could help farmers sell the beans, Parcell said.
“(The research) is so Missouri farmers can meet the needs of consumers around the world,” he said.
The laboratory will employ two full-time staff members and likely two to three seasonal student workers, Parcell said.
The association hopes to begin construction on the buildings this fall and open for research and business as soon as possible.
Of the land, 15,400 square feet will be used for the buildings and the rest for agriculture and soybean harvesting, in accordance with the agricultural zoning of the area.
Bill McQuegge, the owner of the adjoining property, voiced his concern over potential flooding to his land.
“I don’t have a problem with this (project) with the exception of stormwater runoff,” he said. “If you remove this much more soil, the water will only get higher.”
Sanders assured McQuegge and the commission that construction on the property would include a 250-foot-long swale,a low-lying tract of land, that would slow any water and allow better absorption. This, he said, should stop any runoff onto surrounding properties.
After considering the proposed solution to the flood issue, the commission unanimously approved the grant for the permit.
Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller said she thought the plan fit well in the intended location.
“I think it’s a good use of the land,” she said.