Saturday, October 21, 2006

Where the fruits of my labor go...

As I've been harvesting my crop of corn and soybeans recently, I've thought to myself - where does this production end up going to, and who does it benefit?

Corn - Most of the corn goes to the local MFA (Missouri Farmers Association) elevator. They sell the majority of this corn to Premium Standard Farms, located 40 miles away in Missouri. PSF is one of the largest hog operations in the nation. It recently was announced that Smithfield intends to purchase PSF to maintain Smithfield's position as the largest hog producer.

Some of the corn is hauled to Cargill's Eddyville plant, where it made into ethanol, corn starch, corn syrup, and many other products. One of the plants located near the Cargill plant, Anjimoto Heartland, produces lysine, an important amino acid. The byproduct of this operation, a dark chocolate cake batter-like liquid, is used as fertilizer. In fact, I have half my corn acres applied with the goop each year. The application rate is like 2000 lbs/ac, which means a lot of tanker trucks run between here and Eddyville while spreading it. Best of all, it is surface applied, and no tillage is required.

Soybeans - All of my soybeans go to Cargill or ADM in Des Moines. Yes, those are the plants that smell up the east side, and that's where my beans go. They process the beans into soybean meal for livestock feed, and soybean oil, used for various food and industrial purposes (including biodiesel).

Wheat - The little wheat I had this year went to the MFA in Trenton, MO. It goes on to either Kansas City or St Louis for processing or export. It is soft red winter wheat, which means it goes to cookies, crackers, and probably not bread (not enough protein).

Oats - The even less amount of oats I grew this year will probably be used to make calf creep feed with corn and distillers grains next summer.


Blogger Jordan said...

cool post...

3:05 PM, October 21, 2006  

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