As an international food giant, grain is in almost everything that we consume. However, you may not know much about what it is, who grows it, how it is harvested or how it gets to where it needs to be. Here are some facts about the grain that might seem surprising.
What is Considered a Grain?
When you picture the ‘amber waves of grain’ from the national anthem, you are probably picturing wheat. However, wheat is not the only grain. Rice, oats, corn, and barley are also members of the grain family.
Who Produces the Most?
There are many key players in growing enough grain to meet demand. If you are talking in terms of a global scale, China is the largest producer. However, if you are talking about who produces the most at home, it depends. As of 2021, Kansas leads in wheat production, Arkansas leads in rice production, South Dakota leads in oat production, Iowa leads in corn production, and Idaho leads in barley production.
When is Grain Harvested?
You may think of October as the month that everyone harvests their crops, and you would be somewhat right. Depending on many factors, including when you plant the seeds, how much you have to harvest, and how much equipment and help you have with the harvesting, you could be looking at harvesting as early as September and as late as November.
How is Grain Transported?
The entire world relies on grain products to do many things, including feeding livestock and feeding the human population. With all of the grain that needs to be moved, it takes a lot of teamwork between various transportation systems. If it is being shipped overseas, the grain will usually be put on a barge. If it is transported on a national level, there are a few options. Like most other things that need to be moved across America, the grain can be moved using a truck. Crossroads Agriculture, founded by Stefan Soloviev and an industry leader in grain delivery, is known for using railroads to deliver grain if it is not ideal to deliver by truck.
Grain and grain products are instrumental to the world’s way of life, and a lot of work is put into getting them into your food. The next time you go to the grocery store or order takeout, you can think of all of the ways that grain makes your life possible.