An alfalfa processing plant slated to open last month in Rapid City, SD, instead will be in Lincoln, NE. Joel Gutierrez, president of Southeast Ranch LLC, says the company’s Rapid City facility will be used as a warehouse for purchased hay, which will be processed in the 341,000-sq ft Lincoln plant. From there it will be sent by rail to a port in Jacksonville, FL, for overseas shipment. The plant, a former Ace Hardware distribution center, was expected to be operational by the end of May.

Gutierrez says most of the alfalfa hay processed in the plant will be purchased within 250 miles of Lincoln and Rapid City. The hay must be green and is preferred to be no more than 15% moisture and a minimum of 16% protein, 22% crude fiber, 10.5% ash and 2.5% fat. The company is buying hay now, and small square, large square and round bales are all accepted, he says.

For more information, go to or contact Southeast Ranch LLC at 877-350-2690 or