Value-Added Can Bring Big Returns

Rick Heintzman explained his philosophy on how you can cash in on any of your no-tilled, value-added crops.

Rick Heintzman’s story truly is the American dream. No-tilling from his 4,000-acre farm in Onaka, S.D., Heintzman has gone from selling flaxseed at $3.50 per bushel at the elevator to selling the same bushel for hundreds and even thousands of dollars through creative marketing.

At the 10th annual National No-Tillage Conference in St. Louis, Mo., Heintzman showed no-tillers how they can use a value-added approach in their operation, regardless of the crops that they no-till.

Cropping Revelation

Heintzman says that for years he was just like every other no-tiller. He’d no-till his crops, take them to the elevator and hope for the best when it came to getting a fair price per bushel. After getting fed up with low selling prices, Heintzman came to a conclusion.

“It costs more to raise the crops than what you get for them,” Heintzman says. “We used to market the flax for less than the cost of production.”

Marketing Strategies

Knowing that he was sitting on a gold mine for growing a unique flax product, Heintzman had to find a way to get his Omega flax, a golden-seeded variety that he’s named Dakota Flax Gold, into the homes of the millions of people who could reap health benefits from this grain.

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For many people, morning is the time to take vitamins and pills along with breakfast. Heintzman took this idea and marketed his flax to this audience. When ground into a powder, flax can be sprinkled on top of cereal or mixed with juice…

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