Top Crop Manager

Features Business & Policy Markets
Corn and soybean auto parts growing reality in Ontario

On the eve of Canada's Outdoor Farm Show near Woodstock, Ontario, comes another urban-based story, this one about the potential for manufacturing car parts out of corn and soybeans.

September 8, 2008  By London Free Press

September 8, 2008

Chances are, parts of your car are made from Ontario-grown corn and soybeans.

Didn't know that?


Not many people do, but it's a growing reality as auto parts makers look for cheaper, more environmentally friendly alternative materials.

And local farmers are getting in on a piece of the action.

"Our goal is to have 300 kilograms from agriculture in every vehicle," Gord Surgeoner, president of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, told the Western Fair Association last week.

"We don't own any car companies in Canada, but we have a lot of auto parts here."

Currently, about five kilograms of every car is made up of agricultural products — from the foam in car seats, made partly from soybeans, to side panels in car doors made from corn.

"Many of these (agriculture-based) products — not all — are fully compostable," Surgeoner said, adding that as oil prices rise, agriculture can move in to fill a need in all sorts of industries.

"We're in that world now that our price points in agriculture are doing what oil used to do , but you have to provide performance. We have to have products that are the same or better than before."


Stories continue below