Europe Approves 17 Long-Stalled Biotech Traits, But Moves Forward with National Opt-Out


The European Commission on April 24 approved 19 import authorizations for genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Seventeen of the authorizations were for long-delayed food and feed traits, already approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), but had been stalled by non-science based political objections. 

Two additional approvals for genetically modified cut flowers rounded out the list.

USGC Plans Busy Summer Promoting U.S. Coarse Grains and Co-Products

Taiwan team

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) will be busy escorting 27 trade teams to the United States this summer, an essential annual outreach used by the Council to accomplish its mission of developing markets, enabling trade and improving lives.

In this week’s Global Update, we asked Kimberly Atkins, USGC director of global programs, to expound on USGC trade teams and programs. Watch for more about USGC trade teams in future editions of Global Update and local ag press.

Q: What are trade teams and their purpose?

Upbeat Corn Outlook Prompts Focus on Market Access


As U.S. corn farmers kick their planters into high gear, signals on the ground, in the sky and in the markets look promising for the 2015 crop.

“Overall, I think planting conditions as far as moisture goes are good,” said Alan Tiemann, a Nebraska farmer and U.S. Grains Council (USGC) vice chairman.

“Planting progress is a little behind, but with the equipment we’ve got these days, we’ll make that up in a heartbeat. If we get about three good days on our farm, we’ll have corn planting wrapped up.”

Chart of Note

U.S. Sorghum Exports Projected to Be 10 Times Larger Than In 2011/2012

sorghum powder puff piece

This week’s U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Chart of Note illustrates that projected U.S. sorghum exports for the 2014/2015 marketing year are expected to be 10 times larger than just a few years ago, during the 2011/2012 marketing year. This sizeable increase is mostly attributable to China, which has had surging demand since receiving its first bulk shipment on Oct. 13, 2013.

Word from the Ground

Quality: A Key Factor in Competing for U.S. Market Share

train tracks

By: Erick Erickson, U.S. Grains Council Vice President

Corn quality, good and bad, is an issue often raised by customers as U.S. Grains Council (USGC) staff promotes U.S. corn exports around the world. And while the specific quality requirements of an export shipment are established in individual sales contracts, the Council always is looking for ways to enhance the quality image, or the quality brand, of U.S. corn.