Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp. has acquired eight grain-storage facilities and two warehouses in North Dakota and Minnesota. It's part of their plan to buy corn and soybeans directly from local farmers and bypass major distribution companies, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Marubeni plans to buy corn and soybeans from nearby farms, then store them at the facilities. The grain will be transported via railroad to ports on the West Coast for export to Japan. Marubeni expects annual shipments of 600,000 tons starting next year.

Direct transactions with U.S. farmers will allow Marubeni to request crops tailored to the Japanese market.