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  • Condensed by Michelle Pelletier Marshall

General Mills deal to create largest organic crop farm in South Dakota

In an effort to secure enough organic ingredients to meet growing consumer demand worldwide for its products, General Mills has sealed a deal to convert more than 53 square miles of land – 34,000 acres – to organic on South Dakota’s Gunsmoke Farms.

The conversion, expected to be completed by 2020, will see Gunsmoke Farms become the largest organic crop farm in the South Dakota, with nearly 30 percent of the certified organic acres in the state. The land is slated to grow organic wheat for General Mills’ popular Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese line.

Managing soil health will be of the utmost importance in this conversion since the soil is fairly dry in the area. Midwestern BioAg has been enlisted to develop the crop rotation and soil-building program needed to ensure success, which includes re-establishing natural waterways and adding in trace minerals. General Mills is pilot testing this regenerative practice at this site, among others, as part of its increasing focus on sustainable methods.

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Lynda Kiernan-Stone is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan-Stone at lkiernan-stone@highquestgroup.com.