Introducing Value-Added Grain

The definition of a value-added grain is basically a grain commodity that’s worth more than its common grain type version. For example, corn and soybeans would be considered a common type of grain. Whereas, white corn or non-GMO soybeans would be considered value-added grain.

These Value-Added Grain types are of more value than their common commodity types. Today, white corn is worth $0.50 per bushel more than common corn and non-GMO soybeans are worth $1.00 per bushel more than common soybeans.

For the most part, the raising of the value-added type of grain doesn’t cost any more than that of its common grain type. However, on-farm storage is required along with more management and more attention to detail to meet the higher specifications required by the buyer of the grains.

Advantages of value-added  

Along with raising a higher-valued crop, some other advantages of growing value-added grain include having more agronomic diversity and grain marketing diversity which can also lead to more profit per acre for the producer.

Raising value-added grains can be very fulfilling for the producer because they can see what they raise at the grocery store. Here is a list of some popular food products that have value-added grains as their main ingredient: corn chips  like Doritos, Cheetos, Frito’s, Pop Corners, 3D Chips, or Takis; cereals like Cap’N Crunch, Corn Flakes, Corn Pops, or Corn Chex; candies like gummy bears; and other foods like tortillas, pancake mixes, and all types of cooking oils. The gluten free user is also a growing market for value-added grains as we see consumer trends move in that direction.

How to get started: 

Interested in getting started on growing value-added grain on your farm? Here is a list of steps that a producer can take to get started: 

  1. Talk to your local cooperative or grain business about any value-added grain programs that are being offered.
  2. Talk to the grain buyers and research the programs thoroughly to make sure you fully understand all the specifications and marketing options.
  3.  Decide which program fits your operation the best.
  4. If you decide to proceed with value-added grain production, make a commitment to do the best possible job on producing the commodity and executing on the program!                                      

Value-Added Grain Types

There are many types of value-added grains. Often, they are produced for specific markets and follow consumer trends.

Corn: White Corn, Non-Genetically Modified Corn (Non-GMO), Waxy Corn, High Amylose Corn, Hard Endosperm Yellow Corn, Blue Corn, Red Corn, and Organic Corn

Soybeans: Clear Hilum Soybeans, Non-Genetically Modified Soybeans (Non-GMO), Hi Oleic Soybeans, Tofu Soybeans, and Organic Soybeans

What is Grain? Value-Added Grain Video

18 million bushels of value-added grain were purchased and sold by Central Valley Ag

The top four value-added grains that CVA handled in 2021 were White Corn, Non-GMO White Corn, Non-GMO Yellow Corn, and Food Grade Yellow Corn. All four types of the above corn get used to make tortillas, corn chips, taco shells, breakfast cereals, pancake mix, or snack foods like cheetos, funyuns and takis.

Source: Dale Broekemeier, Central Valley Ag Cooperative, 2021

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