Three USGC Delegates Honored for A Decade of Service

Three U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) delegates – Randy Ives of Gavilon; Ray Defenbaugh of Big River Resources; and Stan Garbacz from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture – were honored for 10 years of service to the organization at its 55th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting this week in Montreal, Canada.

Asked about their experiences with the Council, the three told different stories but were unanimous in recognizing its value.

The highlight for Ives has been seeing the ethanol industry come together to meet challenges from antidumping cases to biotechnology acceptance.

Five-Year Honorees Praise A-Teams, Personal Connections

Jerry Wang, delegate for Living Water Integra Trade Inc., and Russ Hurlbert, delegate for the South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation were honored for five years of service to the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) during the organization’s 55th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting held this week in Montreal, Canada.

For both men, their years of service to the Council have brought practical rewards.

“It’s been an excellent experience working with the Council, and especially with the value-added Advisory Team (A-Team),” Wang said. “I learned a lot and also gave a lot of insights I have in the grain industry. The Council always listens to the members’ opinions.”

U.S. Grains Council Releases First Installment of 2015 Corn Production Video Series, Focused on Planting Progress

The first of three U.S. Grains Council (USGC) videos chronicling the 2015 U.S. corn growing season is now available online, highlighting planting conditions on farms in Iowa, Minnesota and Texas.

The segment is available online at http://tinyurl.com/plant15

The story of the 2015 U.S. corn crop began with widespread cool temperatures across the U.S. Corn Belt that delayed planting.

Coarse Grain Crop Progress

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports indicate 92 percent of the corn crop was planted by the end of May, which is slightly higher than the 5-year average. The end of June reports show the corn crop just entering the silking stage with 68 percent in excellent or good condition.

Corn acreage is estimated at 88.897 million acres planted (35.9 million hectares), which translates to an estimated total corn supply of 14.8 billion bushels (376 million metric tons). This is about 2 percent lower from the previous year.

Positive Outlook For U.S. Barley Production In 2015

Barley

North Dakota barley farmer Mark Seastrand said his barley fields are off to a great start. “Conditions were ideal at planting time in mid-May, and timely rain has helped to kick off the growing season,” he said. “We’re cautiously optimistic about this year’s crop.”

Seastrand has a new addition to his farm this year – a newly released variety of barley, Genesis, developed by North Dakota State University. This variety will be harvested for seed. While it is cared for the same as other varieties he is growing, there are differences at planting and through the growth stages.

Officers Mission to Cuba: Digging Deeper Into Opportunities/Challenges

The Obama Administration’s efforts to normalize trade with Cuba continue, with an announcement this week that embassies will re-open in Havana and Washington this summer. However, many trade restrictions remain in place that can only be effectively addressed by the U.S. Congress – and that continue to stymie U.S. grain exports to Cuba.

National Corn, Barley Leaders To Visit Cuba To Continue Market Assessment

Cuba

Leaders from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the North Dakota Barley Council are set to travel to Cuba next week to continue the grain industry’s appraisal of the market potential for U.S. coarse grain exports and reengagement with key customers. 

This mission will include a visit to a Cuban port, meetings with Cuban government officials and tours of the animal sectors in Cuba including beef, dairy and poultry.

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