USGC Global Update for March 8, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Marri Carrow   
Monday, 19 March 2012 11:44

Corn Quality Report Explores 2011 U.S. Crop
The 2011 U.S. corn crop entered the global market with a good test weight, low stress cracks and good moisture readings, according to the 2011 U.S. Corn Quality Harvest Report, the first national corn quality report of its kind commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council.

Results in the study were drawn from 474 yellow commodity corn samples taken across 12 top corn producing U.S. states representing 98 percent of 2010 U.S. corn exports.

“Many key questions we are asked every year surround the quality of the U.S. corn crop,” said the Council’s Erick Erickson, director of programs and planning. “With this initial report, we aim to objectively provide that information. As reports are completed in future years, we’ll have an excellent history of the quality of U.S. corn as it enters the merchandising channel.”

Samples for the study were collected by country elevators in each participating state. Samples were sent directly to the Illinois Crop Improvement Association Identity Preserved Grain Laboratory in Champaign, Ill., for analysis following U.S. Department of Agriculture standards.

The study compiled the results on an aggregate basis, covering all 12 states, but also broke them out into three composite export catchment areas, the Gulf (Mississippi Gulf shipments), Pacific Northwest and Southern Rail (rail shipments to Mexico).

“The catchment areas can help buyers who ship out of certain points to better understand the quality of the corn entering merchandising channels that generally ship to those areas,” Erickson said. 

On an aggregate basis, the report shows a good test weight crop in 2011 – 58.1 pounds per bushel (74.8 kg/hl). 

Moisture samples taken at grain elevators averaged 15.6 percent and had low variability, which implies that the corn dried down mostly in the field , helping improve storeability and creating fewer stressed kernels due to less equipment-based drying.

The crop also showed low stress cracks and low levels of broken corn and foreign matter (BCFM). Low figures in both of these areas indicate the possibility of reduced rates of breakage as corn is handled.

“Study results show that despite challenging growing conditions experienced in several corn growing regions, farmers in the United States produced a high-quality crop overall,” Erickson said.

Other characteristics were also examined, including protein, starch and oil content, and are shown in the second chart.

USGC President and CEO Thomas C. Dorr discusses the Corn Quality Harvest Report on Council Cast. Click here to listen.
Find the report on the Council’s website by clicking here.

Competing for Algeria’s Feed Grain Market
Algeria imported 3.5 million metric tons of feed grains last year, with corn reaching 126 million bushels and barley topping 17.7 million bushels. Algeria’s corn sales were dominated by Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine, France and Romania, and barley sales by France, Finland, the U.K. and Bulgaria. According to Cary Sifferath, U.S. Grains Council regional director, the U.S. market share is estimated at 2 percent overall.

“Much of the growth in Algeria’s market is the result of the Arab Spring, which allowed Algerian importers to take advantage of some shipments originally destined for Libya. That gave Algeria’s poultry producers access to lower-cost corn and soybean meal, which led to better producer profits and expanded poultry production,” he said.

“The market is growing, but we need to work much harder to increase the U.S. market share in 2012,” Sifferath added.

“There’s a growing preference for Argentine “red” corn, and Black Sea corn often provides a cost advantage to its suppliers. This year, we want to focus on removing Algeria’s high import duty and Value-added tax on distiller’s grains in order to promote combination shipments of U.S. corn and co-products.”

Word from the Ground:

Building an Industry with New Standards
By Clover Chang, USGC Director in Taiwan

Taiwan's Council of Agriculture is under pressure from feed millers and poultry producers to establish national mycotoxin standards for grains and feedstuffs. At the U.S. Grains Council Taiwan office, we are working to promote U.S. standards as a benchmark in setting national quality control systems in Taiwan. We recognize that these new standards have to be adaptable to encourage producers, even at the most local level, to embrace new industry guidelines.

This month the Council's Taiwan office worked with Taiwan’s COA and feed sector representatives to hold a mycotoxin standard policy meeting. The Council of Agriculture plans to publish a technical bulletin on mycotoxins by July, conduct seminars about the standard for feed millers and livestock producers and invite a U.S. or Japanese consultant to share his or her expertise on mycotoxin prevention and control at these seminars. 

This meeting succeeded in involving a round-table of key industry leaders from the academic community and government agencies.

COUNCIL ACTIVITY CALENDAR

March 20 - 30: The Council will host a number of buyer seminars and training workshops at the Shanghai JCI’s Raw Feed Materials Market conference in China. Council consultants will be on-hand to address buyer needs and share their expertise in risk management and freight solutions. Buyers of U.S. corn and co-products, representatives from major feed companies and regional grain traders will have the opportunity to learn about the quality and supply of U.S. grain products. For more information, contact Kyle Cromer, USGC international operations coordinator for Asia, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Do you find the information in Global Update useful? If so, be sure to pass it on to your friends and colleagues who might benefit from learning more about the U.S. Grains Council’s programs to build demand for U.S. grains and increase market access around the world. If they would like to receive Global Update directly, encourage them to contact Marri Carrow at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with their name, company and e-mail to subscribe.

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