IN its second annual analysis of the quality of U.S. corn exported on the world market, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) said the 2012 crop was actually superior to the 2011 crop on a number of key variables.
While the 2011 crop was considered a high-quality crop, growing conditions in 2012 were much more challenging, leading many to assume -- incorrectly, according to the report -- that corn quality would suffer.
USGC released its first "Corn Export Cargo Quality Report" in May 2012, providing the test results of corn samples collected during the U.S. government-licensed sampling and inspection process for U.S. corn export shipments.
The latest report, released April 3, indicates that export samples actually had a heavier test weight, lower incidence of broken corn and foreign material and lower moisture content compared with the prior year's samples.
In addition, USGC said the 2012 crop generally had higher levels of protein and oil content and lower levels of starch. The drought-stressed crop actually showed fewer stress cracks and a lower average stress cracks index, with a higher proportion of whole kernels and a higher percentage of hard endosperm, all of which USGC said are favorable trends.
Perhaps most important, mycotoxin testing results found a smaller percentage of samples containing deoxynivalenol (DON) in levels greater than or equal to 0.5 parts per million, and all samples had less than or equal to the Food & Drug Administration-mandated action level of 20 parts per billion for aflatoxins and the FDA advisory level of 5 ppm for DON.