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Grain Buyers Want What?

Japanese ask about the carbon footprint of North Dakota grains.

Add this to the category, "What will grain buyers want next?"

Cole Gustafson, NDSU ag economist, says that in January a Japanese grain buyer asked what was the carbon footprint of North Dakota wheat?

Some Japanese companies now put carbon footprint labels on their products.

Sapporro beer, for example, has carbon label stating that 295 grams of carbon were released to produce the beer.

"It is interesting that the 123 grams of carbon needed to produce the aluminum container was not mentioned," Gustafson says.

Is this a problem or opportunity?

Gustafson says it depends on your perspective. Maybe somebody will pay extra for identity preserved grain that meets a carbon footprint specification. Or maybe it will be just one more standard that sellers will have to meet to make the sale.

"I suspect that carbon likely will be one more quality characteristic that everyone in the industry will start to keep track of," Gustafson says.

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