Homegrown | Turning North Carolina Wheat into Flour

Well agriculture is the number one industry
in North Carolina, so it has a significant economic impact to the state. Corn, wheat and soybeans are all extremely
important to N.C. agriculture, as in some way, shape or form they all three end up in
food we eat or go into livestock feed. North Carolina State University does a significant
amount of research on various crops, including wheat. As an Extension agent, my responsibility is
to take that knowledge generated at the university and get it out to farmers in different ways,
whether it’s through meetings, field days, one-on-one consultation or different demonstrations. Some of the things that we do is scout for
insect and disease problems that may be occurring throughout the wheat season. This year we had a lot of rain in the late
spring and summer, so we were concerned about different fungal diseases that might effect
wheat in later stages of growth. However the wheat crop really turned out pretty
nice this year, it was a decent quality with above average yields. We work with about 300 local farmers within
North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia. We bring wheat in from farmers and from country
elevators and we process that into flour, anywhere from all-purpose flour to bleached,
self-rising, biscuit mix and whatnot. Consistency is the name of the game. We want to make sure that we make the same
product everyday, all year every year, and that from year to year, from crop to crop,
our customers see the same product, the same performance, year in and year out. Farmers can grow wheat for feed with lower
test weight in the characteristics that work better for feed. But we want the higher quality wheat that
you can actually produce a food product out of. They get a better return on that, they get
a better price on that, so our goal is to incent them to grow that… We’re using the commodities and the resources
here, avoiding transportation all the way across the country, and supporting the local
economy and the local population.

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