Market Overview

Canola Processing Plant in Minnesota Begins Operations

On May 18th, 2012, Northstar Agri Industries, a subsidiary of PICO Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: PICO) became the first operational canola processing plant with integrated refinery in Minnesota. The plant is now fully operational having ramped production up to 80 percent of capacity, and is shipping final product (refined canola oil and canola meal) to customers. The new plant has the capacity to process 1000 tons of canola seed per day, producing food grade refined canola oil, a heart healthy vegetable oil with growing US demand and canola meal, a high protein dairy cow and livestock feed ingredient.

Northstar Agri Industries is located outside of Hallock, Minnesota in Kittson County, 20 miles south of the Canadian border. The plant accepted its first canola seed in January 2012 and continued to build its canola seed inventory through March in preparation for the planned start up in May of this year. McGough Industrial Construction, LLC completed the plant construction three months ahead of the guaranteed completion date allowing for an early start for crushing operations.

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