The journey of the grain we grow to the consumers table is often not the straight path you might think. The corn and soybeans we grow on our farm here in central Indiana may not look like food, yet it is. The “food” we grow on our farm takes a different path than the end product you see in the grocery store.
The US grows acres and acres of grains and oilseeds that may not take a direct farm to plate path but is a huge part of the food system. A field of carrots makes perfect sense, a field of soybeans not so much.
The crops we grow on our farm, corn (field corn not sweet corn) and soybeans have a ‘shelf life’, meaning we can store them on-farm and be converted to food (for people or livestock) at a later date. Grain is not perishable, if handled correctly, and it stores well until needed for feed, milling, distilling or pressing.
Much like a garden our crops are planted in the spring and harvested in the fall. Once harvested proper storage and handling is key. Crops can be stored on farm, at a grain elevator or sold directly to a processor. The industry does not need all the supply of corn and soybeans at once, but rather throughout the year.
Grain bins such as these are where we store our harvested corn and soybeans.
On farm storage allows harvest to go smoother as we don’t have to worry about elevator hours or lines and improve our marketing options by selling at different times of the year when supply isn’t as high as it is in harvest.
The Corn and Soybeans We Grow
The grains we grow are in most foods you eat – as feed for livestock, flours, states, and oils. It just doesn’t take a straight path but it’s still an important component.
Corn grown here on our farm in Johnson County Indiana can find its way to a chicken farm in North Carolina traveling hundreds of miles by rail, it could travel overseas in a cargo ship to China or just as easily feed hogs or cattle right here on the farm it was grown on.
all opinions are mine!