Latin American Grain Buyers Visit Kansas Farms; Ethanol, Shipping Facilities

A high-level team of six grain and feed buyers from Central and South America visited Kansas last week to learn about the production of corn and distillers grains feed. The trade team was a part of the US Grains Council Export Exchange program which wrapped up in Seattle on Wednesday. The trade team’s Kansas visit was hosted by the Kansas Corn Commission.

Eighteen trade teams traveled to the Midwest before and after the Seattle meeting to see the U.S. coarse grains production and export systems first hand. Held every other year by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Export Exchange brings together more than 200 international buyers with U.S. sellers of corn, sorghum, barley, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn gluten meal and corn gluten feed. During the Export Exchange event and the pre- and post-tours, these individuals not only conducted business directly but also made connections to facilitate future sales.

The Latin American team visited the BNSF container facility and the Delong Shipping facility at the Logistics Park Kansas City intermodal shipping hub at Edgerton. Later in the day, the group toured East Kansas Agri-Energy ethanol plant at Garnett to learn about ethanol, but and dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS)

“One concern we heard from the group was that many Latin America buyers think of DDGS as a waste product instead of the high quality, high nutrient feed that it is,” Kansas Corn Commission CEO Greg Krissek said. “The EKAE tour gave them first-hand experience with high quality DDGS.  Experiences like this can truly open doors to increased trade.”

The Export Exchange group visited the farm of Pat and Mary Ross near Lawrence, where they watched corn being harvested and had a discussion about grain quality. The group wrapped up their visit with a tour of Ken and Mary McCauley’s farm near White Cloud where they toured the McCauley’s on-farm grain storage facility and visited a field where soybeans were being harvested.