Experiencing the Importance of Trade
By Stacy Mayo-Martinez, Director of Industry Relations
With more than one-third of Kansas corn leaving the state, we realize that trade is important. And specifically, trade with Mexico is critical to our corn and corn product markets. In fact, Mexico is the number one buyer of U.S. corn with 524 million bushels. The geographic access to Kansas one of the prime suppliers.
At the end of July, Kansas Corn’s partner, U.S. Grains Council coordinated the group of Mexican pork and poultry professionals to visit and learn more about including rates for distillers grains into their feed rations. The tour combined a short course and industry visits in Minnesota, with learning and visits in Kansas. While in Kansas, Kansas Corn hosted them with on-farm visits, meeting livestock and poultry specialists at K-State, East Kansas Agri-Energy and meet key industry partners.
Through our experience hosting foreign grain and grain product buyers, we’ve learned it’s valuable for them to meet corn farmers. They learn the stories of the people raising the crop that they buy and in turn fed to their livestock. Most of the time, feed is the largest input cost in a livestock and poultry operation, so they want to know they can trust the source of the grain. Kansas Corn Commissioner Pat Ross has met many groups of international buyers and can attest that he’s seen the relationships that these in-person, on-farm trips make.
“When we talk small-business to small-business, they understand we care about the quality of product we produce, just like they do,” Ross says. “Plus, it’s always good to put a face to a name.”
Ross explains that he’s seen the value of the investment Kansas Corn Commission has made firsthand by hosting trade groups and also having the opportunity to take part in a reverse trade mission to Mexico to visit major corn and DDGS buyers. For more information on why ag exports are important, check out the website, agexportscount.com http://www.agexportscount.com/
Kansas Corn Participates in US Grains Council Annual Meeting
The Kansas Corn team along with Kansas Corn Commissioners Terry Vinduska and Brian Baalman, attended the 57th Annual U.S. Grains Council Board of Directors meeting. The meetings provides a biannual update to farmer checkoff organizations and industry partners who invest and help direct the efforts of the U.S. Grains Council. The meeting focus was continuing to focus on Ag Exports Count. With a year of ups and downs associated trade policy, it’s even more critical to partner with U.S. Grains Council staff and contractors around the world to develop and build the markets for U.S. corn, DDGS and ethanol. The team attending heard updates and were involved in discussions on the directions of the various efforts around the world including ethanol and the western hemisphere as a focus. Kansas will be active in hosting many buyers missions, primarily from Mexico, to help build relationships, demonstrate the continuous quality of the American grains and ethanol. To find out more about the Kansas Corn checkoff investment in trade, we hope to see you at one of the next six stops on our annual district listening tour. Find out where the closest stop to you is here, at the Kansas Corn events tracker.
Argentinian Farmers and Agronomists Visit Kansas
By Leah Clawson, Kansas Corn Crew
Corn production is important in Kansas, but is also important in South American countries, including Argentina. On August 3rd, the Kansas Corn Growers Association and Guillermo Balboa, from KSU Crops, facilitated a farm visit for a group of Argentinian farmers and agronomists. The farm visit took place just outside of Silver Lake, KS, where the Argentinian farmers and agronomist were able to meet with three KCGA members – JD Hanna, Lowell Neitzel, and Steve Albright. Over the course of an hour and a half, we discussed new technology, water usage, challenges faced, average corn yield, and successful farming practices, just to name a few topics. The farm visit was insightful for everyone, expanding our knowledge about agriculture on a global scale.
Each tour group’s schedule does influence the locations we visit, as well as the number of farms we can visit, but if you are interested in hosting future tour groups, please share your interest with us. Follow Kansas Corn on Snapchat so you can see our adventures as they happen. You can also connect with Kansas Corn, as well as KSU Crops, on Facebook for updates on our latest outings, farmer features, and upcoming events.