Talking corn quality in the Far East
Missouri corn grower Kenny McNamar of Gorin returned Dec. 11 from a 13-day trade mission where he explored the use of U.S. corn and corn coproducts in Japan, Taiwan and China. McNamar joined growers from four other states on the 2010 U.S. Grains Council Corn Mission to encourage further partnerships with international customers.
“We had great visits in each country, witnessing firsthand the strides American farmers and the council are making in developing foreign grain markets,” says McNamar, president of the Missouri Corn Growers Association, a longtime partner with the USGC. “It takes a lot of time and energy to keep corn flowing to these markets, and to maintain these beneficial partnerships. Missouri growers are getting a real bang for their buck by partnering with USGC on these efforts.”
• Two Missouri corn leaders participate in trade mission to the Far East.
• The U.S. Grains Council organized a mission to Japan, Taiwan and China.
• Growers focused on the quality of the 2010 U.S. corn crop during the mission.
Representing the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council on the trade mission was Becky Frankenbach, who serves as director of communications for the Jefferson City-based organization.
While in Japan, the six-member delegation focused on the quality of the 2010 U.S. corn crop when meeting with trade partners and end users. Discussions took place with the Japan Trade Association, Japan Feed Manufacturers Association and Japanese food corn processors. Visits were also made to Ishinomaki Futo Silo Company Ltd., a grain storage facility, and Kitanihon Kumiai Feed Company Ltd., which makes compound feed rations for cattle, poultry and swine. Before leaving Japan, the delegation also took time to speak with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Zen-noh, the primary agricultural cooperative in Japan.
“These visits helped us gain a better understanding of what our global customers expect from the quality of grain coming out of the U.S.,” McNamar notes. “The face-to-face meetings allowed us to reassure our international customers that corn growers are working hard to provide not only the quantity, but also the quality, needed to meet all demands.”
Onward to Taiwan
During the visit to Taiwan, the group helped strengthen relations with key traders, users and buyers of U.S. corn and dried distillers grains with solubles, a corn coproduct produced during the conversion of corn to ethanol. Visits included the American Institute in Taiwan; Taiwan Feed Industry Association; Good Flag Biotechnology Corp., a factory that produces corn-plastic products; Fwusow Industry Corp., a major feed mill in Taiwan that imports U.S. corn and DDGs for livestock and pet animal feeds; and Shin Show Hog Farm, which feeds U.S. corn and DDGs.
All roads lead to China
The last leg of the mission brought the delegation to China, where they met with grain traders and explored the outlook for U.S. corn and DDGs. Visits were also made to a feed mill and container port to gain a better understanding of the trade process.
“There is a growing need for additional corn and DDGs in China,” McNamar says. “U.S. domestic use remains steady year after year, while farmers continue to produce more corn. I believe the future growth market for U.S. corn is in exports, and the Chinese market shows great potential in the coming years. These missions help build trust with partners and strengthen exports, which in turn strengthens our markets at home.”
Other members of the trade mission included Larry Klever from the Iowa Corn Promotion Board; Kent Kleinschmidt, representing the Illinois Corn Marketing Board; John Whaley from the Indiana Corn Marketing Council; and Kelsey Pope from the Nebraska Corn Board.
MCGA contracts with USGC to expand grain marketing opportunities abroad. For more information on grain export efforts, click on www.grains.org. To learn more about Missouri corn, visit www.mocorn.org.
Source: Missouri Corn Growers Association
This article published in the January, 2011 edition of MISSOURI RURALIST.