News & Events
Multiple forms of technology are available to improve production on the United States’ 2 million farms of all sizes. Beyond computer and Internet access, which is available on about 71 percent of U.S. crop farms (2013 report), various methods of technology are used in coordination with one another to increase efficiency, minimize labor and enhance sustainability.
When U.S. farmers replaced their horse-drawn equipment with tractors in the early 1900s, their crop productivity took a mighty leap forward. Technology on the farm has continually evolved to increase efficiency, improve yields and drive production and profitability. In the 21st century, this is due in part to the development of precision agriculture tools.
From January through March 2015, Japan imported 1,789 metric tons (82,000 bushels) of U.S. barley for food and food processing, according to Japanese Customs. At this rate, Japan is on course to import 50 percent more U.S. food barley this year than in the 2014 calendar year, when it imported 4,672 tons (214,500 bushels).
Off-farm grain storage at elevators offers much more capacity than on-farm bins, and U.S farmers with large production volume often sell their grain at harvest to these facilities. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the United States’ off-farm commercial storage capacity is 272 million metric tons (10.7 billion bushels).
Every bushel of U.S. corn, sorghum and barley moving to overseas markets passes thorugh a U.S. export port, a system known worldwide for its efficiency and certification procedures.
The vast majority of this grain bound for international markets is sold in large volume bulk cargo loads. Smaller orders sometimes go out through containers, often through West Coast ports.
By: Tommy Hamamoto, U.S. Grains Council Director in Japan
Beginning April 1, 2015, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) in Japan will be launching a new food labeling framework for foods with health functions. This new framework will allow for foods containing a functional nutrient to be advertised as such on their labels. Beta-glucan, which is contained in some U.S. barley varieties, is a nutrient that falls into this category as a substance lowering blood sugar level, also known as glycemic index.
This week’s U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) Chart of Note illustrates the stunning record of more than 18 million metric tons of total coarse grains and co-products imported by China from October 2013 to September 2014.
Nine U.S. farmers learned firsthand about their customers’ perspectives and studied U.S. export competitors during the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC) Grain Export Mission (GEM) last month. The participants returned from this mission with a clearer understanding of the challenges, opportunities and competition U.S. grains face in the international marketplace.
Two groups of farmers recently experienced a unique opportunity to see both a U.S. grain customer country and competitor market country during the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC) Grain Export Mission (GEM), held Nov. 30 to Dec. 13.
One group composed of U.S. barley and sorghum producers traveled to Mexico and Argentina, where they met with contacts looking to expand their businesses in part by using U.S. grains.