General Mills will work with Gunsmoke Farms to convert 34,000 acres.
General Mills announced a deal Tuesday to create South Dakota's largest organic crop farm as the company works to secure enough organic ingredients to meet growing consumer demand worldwide.
Gunsmoke Farms will convert 34,000 acres — more than 53 square miles — near Pierre to organic by 2020, where it will grow organic wheat for General Mills' popular Annie's Macaroni & Cheese line.
General Mills, which is guaranteeing a market for the wheat, is working with Madison, Wis.-based Midwestern BioAg to develop the crop rotation and soil-building program needed for such a large farm to go organic.
"We're kind of obsessed with soil," Carla Vernon, president of General Mills' Annie's unit in Berkeley, Calif., told the Associated Press. "And that's because we know the power of soil is big."