To add diversity to the farming operations, farmers can opt for local grains. Since, grain is common in the Upper Midwest they can be taken for granted. However, their value is not always realized, says Steve Zwinger who is an agronomy research specialist based at the North Dakota State University Research Center and also a member of the group which promotes local grains.
Local grains form a part of the local food movement that emphasize on small scale, organic production of food which is consumed near the place where it is produced. However, local food is generally associated with eggs and vegetables, however, grains tend to form a more important and bigger role according to Steve Zwinger.
Consumers tend to call them as the eaters, which in urban regions are the largest market for local produce, grains. However, even in the rural area of North Dakota even more consumers are demonstrating interest.
One of the grains is the flax and is currently the country’s leading producer and can be a good example. Other North Dakota farms have steadily raised their crop and then are packaging and selling it to the local population.
The heirloom of local grains includes wheat varieties and many other ancient grains such as einkorn or emmer. This grain tends to date back to prehistoric times and was previously popular on the Northern Plains which was before the arrival of the better yielding new varieties of wheat which were used in the early 20th century.
But, certain health conscious customers are wondering if the local grains could be partial solution to intolerance to gluten, which is also called celiac disease.