In 1998, Schwartz Farms shipped its first load of non-GMO food grade soybeans in order to fulfill a 4,000 bu. purchase order. Since then, Schwartz Farms has exported food grade soybeans to East and Southeast Asian countries, such as Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore and South Korea, specifically to produce tofu. This year, our farm, along with approximately 18 contract growers, will grow approximately 9,000 areas of these high quality soybeans for the food grade market both domestically and internationally. Specifically, Schwartz Farms currently sells our food grade soybeans to a manufacturer, House Foods, on the East Coast through a broker, as well as directly overseas to a Saitama Ryoukoku Co. in Saitama-ken, Japan.
Around 10% of the acreage on Schwartz Farms is dedicated to growing seed for the production of the food grade crop the following year. Schwartz Farms undergoes a number of quality control measures in order to keep our seed pure, starting with seed production. We are Ohio Seed Improvement Association (OSIA) members, therefore we use their certification for our identity preservation process. This means that all fields are inspected for purity and our soybeans are assigned a coded lot number in order to trace soybeans from the end user to the original producer.
For more information on OSIA’s IP process for food grade soybeans, please click here.
Seed Processing and Crop Production
In March, the seed is cleaned and packaged according to how the growers want it (bags, bulk bags or proboxes). We require that the seed has a full load of seed treatment, containing a fungicide, insecticide, biological and inoculant in order to protect the plants from different insects and viruses.
Seed characteristics include:
- Large seed
- Uniform seed size
- Clear hilum
- Early maturity
Given that Schwartz Farms does not allow our food grade soybeans to be planted following GMO soybeans from the previous year, we offer an early maturity variety so that growers can plant and harvest the food grade soybeans first. This ensures that if growers plant any GMO seed, then they can maintain purity in our food grade soybeans.
Test Plot Information
The 2014 test plot information is forthcoming. We will provide you with this information after harvest in October/November.
We also require growers’ to use separate storage facilities for our food grade soybeans to maintain purity. If growers do not have ample amount of storage, we can take their food grade soybeans at harvest and adjust their basis (see more pricing details below).
Schwartz Farms offers packaging flexibility for both its domestic and international customers, including bags, bulk bags or bulk 20 or 40 foot containers. We ship our food grade soybeans 52 weeks per year in order to meet our buyers’ needs.
Our food grade soybeans are used to produce tofu both domestically and internationally. It is important to us that we understand what happens to our soybeans once they are harvested from the field. Click here to view a flow chart that explains this process.
Below are some pictures of the end-product:
Contract Grower Opportunities
Schwartz Farms works very closely with our contract growers throughout the growing season to ensure that the quality of the food grades is consistent for our domestic and international customers. Emphasizing weed, disease and insect management, we provide pointers on planter parts (specifically plates), herbicide programs, where to look for contamination, and other services and equipment to help growers maximize their seeds. Our biggest emphasis is purity throughout the entire life of the seed. Little things like cleaning every corner of our planter boxes, metering systems, wagons, trucks, combines, and all other grain handling equipment make the difference.
Click here to view a sample non-GMO food grade soybean grower contract.
Schwartz Farms pays a premium on 100% of bushels flat off the board with no movement on the basis as long as the food grades meet the minimum specifications. We also provide our growers with the opportunity to forward price and submit target contracts just like they would at any other grain elevator. While contract quantities differ, we allow contracts to take place in amounts as small as 1,000 bushels at a time.
We only continue to meet the high demand from our customers through partnerships with more than a dozen contract growers for the production of food grade soybeans. Given that our market keeps expanding, we are always looking for new growers within 100-125 miles of the farm. If interested in becoming a new contract grower, please contact Dan Schwartz either at 330-727-4750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read more about our foodgrade soybeans operation, check out the following articles written by Matt Reese at the Ohio Country Journal following the growers’ trip to House Foods in New Jersey (March 2014):
- “Food grade Soybeans: Seed to Shipping“ – About Schwartz Farms and its relationship with its contract growers
- “Food grade Soybeans: Farm to Retail” – About House Foods and its relationship with Schwartz Farms and Scoular
Additionally, Koichiro Aihara submitted the following two articles in a Japanese magazine in 2014, specifically about his experience working on our farm:
Below are some YouTube videos of our various operations for food grade soybean production:
To view pictures of our food grade production operations, click here.
Questions or Concerns?
For questions about our food grade soybean operation, please contact Dan Schwartz, John King or Bill Helmuth at 330-637-3388.