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The Maize Page

Are there ways to add value to corn grain?

Roger Ginder
Department of Agricultural Economics, Iowa State University

The possibilities of adding value on farm are somewhat limited but not totally absent. One of the most obvious is nutrient dense corn for feeding on farm. High oil or high protein corn is an example of how value can be added on farm and captured with a minimum of cost. Of course all of the regular analysis of substitution of protein and fat in the diets of hogs, dairy or poultry is necessary in order to determine the returns. And the value must be large enough to offset added costs of segregation and yield penalties.

Another possibility is production of organic grains. This may be an ideal time to enter organic grain production since there is CRP land coming back into production in many areas that will not have been treated with fertilizer or chemicals for the required period. It is essential to have the market lined up in advance for these products as well.

There may be other possibilities such as screening corn for kernel size for different end users or to enhance the grade and quality to the specs of a specific end user. It is also possible to enhance quality by combine adjustments and better control of dyer temperatures that can enhance the value of commodity grain for some end users. The problem on all of this is identifying an end user in your area willing to pay for the service.

For additional information, consult the web page for the Iowa State University Extension Grain Quality Initiative.

Roger Ginder, ginder@iastate.edu

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