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Agriculture Byproducts

Agriculture is the backbone of our country. We rely on agriculture multiple times a day; when we eat, get dressed, drive to work, take medicine, and at just about any other point in the day. While a farmer might only plant and harvest a few types of crops like corn and soybeans, those plants can end up creating a variety of other products called byproducts. Byproducts are secondary products that are made in the manufacture or synthesis of something else, such as corn and soybeans.

Corn begins as a small seed that grows into a stalk that can be eight feet tall. This plant can be made into dozens of different products such as cornstarch, corn syrup, glue, oil, ethanol, cornmeal, and more. Byproducts of corn can be used to make even more products that help the economy and environment.

Cornstarch can make slime, plastic, paint, pencils, and even packing peanuts. These products made from cornstarch are entirely renewable. Corn byproducts like packing peanuts and plastic are biodegradable, meaning they dissolve in water. Biodegradable products lower pollution levels and protect animal species from harm. Visit our website and download our corn paint lesson to learn more about cornstarch.

Iowa is the leading ethanol producer. Ethanol is a renewable fuel that is made from agricultural waste, grain, and corn. This fuel is easy to make and reduces carbon monoxide levels in cars, making it great for the environment. Did you know on average 26.1 pounds of corn is used to produce one gallon of ethanol?

While corn is Iowa’s leading crop, soybean is close behind and also creates a number of byproducts. Livestock feed, candles, crayons, oil, and food products are just a few of the many different byproducts that come from soybeans.

Majority of soybeans are used to make livestock feed. In fact, the largest source of the world’s animal protein comes from soybeans. Soybeans hold a large amount of high-protein fiber that is great for livestock growth. The most common livestock consumers include poultry, swine, cattle, and fish

The second most common soybean product is oil. Soybean oil is the second-largest source of vegetable oil and is used for a variety of byproducts. Baked breads, crackers, mayonnaise, salad dressings, candles, and crayons are some of the products derived from soybeans and soybean oil. These products are environmentally friendly, renewable, and safe for pets and most people.

These crops not only allow a wide variety of byproducts to be made, but also feed mouths around the world, create safer products, and begin to make a healthier environment. While the above are just a few examples of byproducts made from corn or soybeans, it is very likely that the daily essentials we use every day came from a farm. To learn more about byproducts, visit our website to download virtual lesson plans.

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