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Super Soybeans and King Corn

super soybeans and king corn

Soybeans and corn are Minnesota's leading cash crops. These are the top crops that feed our cattle, hogs, and poultry. They have many different uses.

soybean flower
Corn Tassels

Planting and Harvesting

Soybeans and corn are planted in April and May. During the summer:

  • Soybeans flower and produce pods (beans).
  • Corn grows tassels and silks, producing ears with kernels.

Both crops are harvested in the fall.

harvesting soy
harvesting corn
elevators and storage bins

Storage and Transport

After they are harvested, soybeans and corn are stored in grain bins on the farm or at local elevators. They are kept dry to prevent mold and spoiling. Some farmers grind and mix soybeans and corn with other grains to feed their farm animals. Some farmers sell their crops to processors. They are hauled away from the farm by truck.

grain truck
processing corn
soybean flakes
ground corn

Processing

Cleaning is the first step. Then crops are processed. How they are processed depends on how they will be used.

  • Soybeans are mainly processed for oil, meal (flour), and biodiesel (biofuel). Corn is mainly processed for livestock feed, human food, and ethanol (biofuel).
  • Soybeans are warmed and moistened. The heat expands the beans, and the hulls pop off. Hulls are the hard outer shell of a soybean. Then the beans are flattened into flakes. That makes it easier to remove the oil.
  • Corn may be soaked, softened, pressed, ground, cooked, mixed, or sometimes flaked before it is further processed into many different products.
soy oil
soy flour
livestock feed
corn bread

Distribution

Once the corn and soybeans have been made into products, they are taken to stores where people can buy them.

Distribution Food
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