In the United States, a majority of farmers plant and grow soybean seeds that have been genetically modified (GMO) to be more herbicide- or insecticide tolerant. This newer GMO technology has allowed soybean producers to ease management and reduce the production costs of raising soybeans. Despite a seemingly agriculture-industry-wide acceptance of GMO traits in soybeans (like those using Roundup Ready technology), there still remains a high demand for non-GMO soybeans-both domestically and internationally. The need for non-GMO soybean products is still strong in Asia and Europe, and in many other countries around the world. Specialty Grains (SGI) is 100% dedicated to the growth, processing and delivery of non-GMO soybean varieties that provide the necessary qualities and traits needed by end-users. Our location in central Illinois-and having soils high in organic matter and good climate conditions for agricultural production-help our growers consistently produce soybeans of the finest quality, start to finish.
At Specialty Grains, we continually study all of the non-GMO seed stocks available in the U.S. , in a continuing effort to match the traits of the various seed stocks to the characteristics needed by our food soybean buyers. In our study and selection process, we are continually assessing new varieties and selecting only varieties that meet stringent customer standards. The key soybean traits desired by our customers are hilum color, elevated protein levels, and soybean size.
We predominantly produce dark hilum soybeans in central Illinois. White hilum soybeans with high protein levels are available also, and can be produced under contract by growers for end-users needing food soybeans with that particular characteristic. For years, we have been working with soybean breeders to develop varieties with higher protein levels and that are adapted for specific end-user needs.
SGI contracts with farmers to plant and grow the food soybean varieties desired by its customers. Growers are carefully selected for their excellent management practices to provide high-quality, disease-free, food grade soybeans for use in tofu, miso, and soy milk production. To maintain the quality that our customers require, we inspect the fields during the growing season, and supervise the harvesting/farm bin storage process to assure our customers that quality and varietal purity is maintained. Pricing of contract soybeans is tied to the Chicago Board of Trade futures market, which is readily available to both producers and end-users.
Our facility is 100% non-GMO in the products that it processes and handles. SGI uses state-of-the-art processing equipment. Soybeans are first air-screen cleaned and sized, then passed through a gravity table and destoner. They are then meticulously processed using an 8-belt Harada roll sorter, which removes any split or misshapen soybeans. Finally, they are passed over a high powered magnet to remove any metallic residue from the beans. This entire process allows Specialty Grains to offer the best available quality in the industry. Soybeans from Specialty Grains are shipped to customers in bulk: in container or truck, or packaged in 30kg paper bags or one metric ton tote bags that are then shipped to customers throughout the world.