If you’re looking to diversify your farming operation or add value to it, Steve Zwinger has a suggestion: Local grains.
Because grain is so common in the Upper Midwest, “We can take it for granted. We don’t always realize what we have here,” says Zwinger, an agronomy research specialist at the North Dakota State University Research Center and a member of a nationwide group promoting the local grains effort.
Local grains are part of the local foods movement, which emphasizes organic, small-scale production of food consumed near where it’s produced. Local foods are most often associated with vegetables and eggs, but grains are playing a bigger role, Zwinger says.