With traditional commodity grain production, high and low
quality grain lots are often blended to achieve a maximum allowable level of foreign
material, splits, damaged grain, as measured by historical grain quality standards. In
contrast, Identity Preserved (IP) grain crops are grown and handled under controlled
conditions and delivered for speciality use. Qualified producers must follow rigid
cultural and handling practices required for quantity and uniformity. IP grain in general
refers to speciality production, segregation, and identification of food grade soybean
varieties through speciality marketing channels so the end user of the product is assured
that the specific variety is pure and meets minimum
quality standards. Over the years an Ohio niche market has evolved for food grade
soybeans. Typically a contract grower agrees to produce, harvest, store and deliver the
grain without mixing food grade soybeans with other varieties. The long process begins
with the planting of pure Certified seed of a known variety, usually planted on land that
has not grown that crop for at least a year. Often field isolation distances are required
as part of the production plan. Independent third party record keeping, field inspections
and lab testing services are available to monitor the IP process.
IP grain crops usually are inspected one or more times
during the growing season to assure freedom from, or removal of, weeds or other crops, and
that other specific standards are met in order to meet end user contract requirements.
Weeds such as Pokeberry pose particular problems for food grade soybeans since the mature
berries cause an undesirable staining of the soybean seedcoat. Weeds, soil stains, and
field weathering in general depreciate IP grain quality.
IP food grade soybeans are carefully harvested to avoid
mechanical damage, other crops, and dirt stains. Clean equipment is used, with the grain
stored in clean dry bins, aerated periodically to control moisture and moved to market in
clean cargo containers, bags, or via clean trucks. As a final note IP producers should
remember that Ohio FG1 soybeans are used for direct human consumption. "If you grow
them you must be willing to eat them."