Kansas Corn’s Overseas Research Aims to Build Markets

Exploring ways to improve grain storage in tropical climates of southeast Asia, and demonstrating the use of distillers grains to improve nutrition for dairy heifers in India are two examples of research the Kansas Corn Commission has supported through the U.S. Grains Council with the ultimate goal of building markets for corn and corn products.

Finding Better Ways to Store Corn in Tropical Environments

Dr. Carlos Campabadal, K-State International Grains Program

Southeast Asia is a priority for the Kansas Corn Commission because of the region’s rapidly growing economy and resulting need for U.S. corn and corn products like ethanol and DDGS, the feed co-product of ethanol production. India is an important growth market and the country has more dairy cattle than any other country, making India a key buyer for U.S. feed grains, especially DDGS.

Commission Chair Dennis McNinch and Kansas Corn CEO Greg Krissek, left, tour the Malaysian flour mill.

Storage of corn in tropical environments brings challenges. Kansas Corn supported U.S. Grains Council research on Corn Storage in Tropical Climates to meet a specific need which will help build trade in a promising and rapidly growing market in Southeast Asia. The research was conducted by Carlos Campabadal, Grain Storage and Feed Manufacturing Specialist at K-State’s International Grains Program. By partnering with a major Malaysian feed mill to conduct the study, Dr. Campabadal’s research provided real-world results that he presented to feed buyers at the Southeast Asia U.S. Agricultural Cooperators Conference in Singapore in August. Kansas Corn Commission CEO Greg Krissek, Commission Chairman Dennis McNinch of Arnold and Dr. Campabadal participated in the conference and visited with buyers in Malaysia and Korea, including a stop at the Malayan Flour Mill Berhad in Malaysia where the grain storage research was conducted. McNinch and Campabadal were both presenters at the conference.

“Southeast Asia is a growing portion of the world economy with an increasing population that is improving diets and energy usage,” Krissek said.  “The vast majority of Southeast Asian importers were together for this conference, and they heard a crop update from a Kansas farmer and study results from a Kansas researcher. Storing corn in tropical environments requires certain management practices, and we can build export markets by helping those customers overcome corn storage issues.”

Researching DDGS to Improve Nutrition for Indian Dairy Heifers

Building exports of corn and corn products to the rapidly growing economy of India is a priority for Kansas Corn. An ethanol trade team recently visited a Kansas farm, ethanol plant and fuel retailer and had meetings with corn and ethanol organizations. But Kansas Corn is also working to build sales of the ethanol coproduct, DDGS feed, to dairies in India. India is home to the world’s largest dairy herd. Working with the U.S. Grains Council, the Kansas Corn Commission has funded an ongoing research project to introduce DDGS to Indian dairy heifer feeders. Kansas Corn’s project has brought a new dairy research and training facility in Kaira District in cooperation with Amul Dairy. The Indian market has the potential to import more than 700,000 metric tons of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) annually.

The Council first began this effort with a project in Morocco, and then began working with Amul to develop a similar heifer conditioning project, adapted to Indian conditions, to improve nutritional intake, advance genetic progress and increase animal overall husbandry, with the ultimate goal of improving the farmer’s milk production.

Kansas Corn Commissioner Terry Vinduska, Marion, said the Indian dairy project benefits agriculture in the U.S. and abroad. “This beautiful 16,000 head feedlot that the Council was instrumental in creating serves as the model for the world of how to develop an efficient industry,” Vinduska said.