January 19, 2018

Midwest Farmers Assist With USGC Corn Harvest Quality Rollouts

The U.S. Grains Council is rolling out information on the quality of the 2017 corn crop to buyers and end-users around the world, aided in many cases by U.S. farmers who are sharing their own experiences growing new crop corn. quality

The annual series of events presents the results of the 2017/2018 Corn Harvest Quality Report, released this December. The presentations, meetings and conferences started as the new report became public and will continue through early 2018 to arm global customers with clear expectations regarding corn quality for this marketing year.

Farmers from Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin are joining the Council overseas to provide their perspectives on the 2017 U.S. corn crop during events in Colombia, Mexico, Taiwan, Peru, Japan, South Korea and Tunisia. Attention to and participation in these events is growing, with new events being added in places like Mexico, where the rollouts occurred during two separate missions due to an increased level of interest in the quality information.

“The focus of the events may be the data, but the voices of those who produce the crop provide an important perspective on the data that customers are eager to hear,” said Deb Keller, USGC chairman and farmer from central Iowa. “By providing transparent information on new crop corn quality, the Council and these farmer participants help maintain a trusted relationship with our customers.”

The crop quality data and farmer presentations are accompanied by information on U.S. corn grading and handling. This information helps provide a better understanding of how U.S. corn is moved and handled through export channels for a varied audience of international grain buyers, end-users and even government officials.

These efforts to aggregate and share information on the corn crop each year could not be accomplished without the support of the Council’s membership,” Keller said. “We do what we can because of the support of U.S. farmers and agribusinesses.”

Recently-completed corn quality events in Colombia covered six cities and included participants representing major commercial feed producers, the country’s largest broiler producer, the largest layer producers and traders, government representatives, port authorities and private customs agencies. Crop quality presentations were also recently completed in Mexico, supported by farmer participants from Iowa and Indiana. Ongoing this week are events in Taiwan and Peru with farmer representation from Missouri, Ohio and Illinois, followed by events in Japan, South Korea and Tunisia featuring farmer participants from Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The 2017/2018 Corn Harvest Quality Report is the seventh in the Council’s annual corn quality survey. The report revealed that the majority of 2017 corn crop conditions were rated as good or excellent during the growing season, leading to strong plant health, good kernel size and a projected record yield of 370.3 million metric tons (14.58 billion bushels), the second-largest crop on record.

The corn harvest quality report provides timely information about the quality of the current U.S. corn crop at harvest as it enters international merchandising channels. This information will be supplemented by a second report, the 2017/2018 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report, scheduled for early 2018, which will measure corn quality at export terminals at the point of loading for international shipment.

As a package, the reports provide reliable, timely and transparent information on the quality of U.S. corn as it moves through the export channel. It is important to recognize the final quality of corn in export channels is affected by many factors in the U.S. grain marketing system. As corn passes through the U.S. marketing system, it is mingled with corn from other locations; aggregated into trucks, barges and rail cars; and stored, loaded and unloaded several times.

“Presenting both the harvest quality report and the export quality report is very important, as they give export customers an understanding of the relationship between growing conditions, early harvest quality and export quality of U.S corn,” Keller said. “Our goal with these reports is to build confidence of our export customers in the availability and quality of U.S. corn, and to reaffirm the commitment of U.S. corn producers to their export customers.”

Learn more about the 2017/2018 Corn Harvest Quality Report here.

USGC Global Update

Grain, Cooperative Groups Huddle on Tax Fix, Shift Could Cascade Across Agriculture

cooperatives A Statement of Chuck Conner, president & CEO, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) and Randy Gordon, president & CEO, National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA), on Section 199A Tax Provisions“We are aware of questions and concerns raised about the potential marketplace effects of the new section 199A of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as it relates to producers and agribusinesses.   Congress’s intent in including this provision was to replicate the tax treatment previously available to co-op farmer-members, consistent with the bill’s overarching goal of creating jobs and economic growth including in rural America.

“We are working intensively with stakeholders, including cooperatives, non-cooperative-owned agribusinesses and Senate offices, including Senators Hoeven, Thune and Roberts. The goal of these discussions is to arrive at an equitable solution that preserves the benefits that cooperatives and their farmer patrons previously enjoyed under Section 199 of the tax code, while addressing any unforeseen impacts on producers’ marketing decisions. NCFC, NGFA and our stakeholders are committed to reaching a solution in a thoughtful and expeditious manner, and to working with Congress to address this issue promptly.”

About the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives.  Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of over 2,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country.  NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives.  Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.

America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members.  These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity.  They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs.  Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.

About the National Grain and Feed Association

The NGFA, established in 1896, consists of more than 1,050 grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies – both independent and cooperative.  Its members operate more than 7,000 facilities nationwide and handle more than 70 percent of the U.S. grain and oilseed crop.  NGFA also consists of 36 affiliated state and regional associations, and has strategic alliances with the North American Export Grain Association and Pet Food Institute.

Grain Dealers to Gather in Fargo for 106th Convention and Industry Show

The North Dakota Grain Dealers Association will hold its 106th Annual Convention & Industry Show at the Fargo Holiday Inn January 14-16, 2018.  Approximately 900 people are expected for the event, consisting of grain elevator managers, farmers, grain industry personnel, suppliers and spouses.  The meeting includes educational sessions, business meetings, and a trade show of 82 companies providing products and services to the grain industry.  We visited with NDGDA Executive Vice President Stu Letcher about this year’s agenda.

Program topics and speakers include:

  • Market Outlook – Eugene Graner, Heartland Investor Services
  • What Does the Future Hold for Cooperatives – Dr. Frayne Olson-Director, Quentin Burdick Center for Coops
  • Food Safety Modernization Act-Update on Implementation – Dave Fairfield, Sr. VP of Feed Services, NGFA
  • Seed Rules Every Producer and Dealer Should Know –  Jason Goltz-Manager Regulatory Program, ND State Seed Department

The full schedule can be found HERE.

To register for the convention or the special brewery tour of downtown Fargo, click HERE.