News & Events
A group of farmers from three corn states traveled to Japan and Korea last week to meet with customers and share crop progress updates direct from the farm, interactions that are critical to ongoing sales in those mature corn markets.
During the International Poultry and Pig Show 2015 in Japan the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) provided Japanese swine producers with the latest productivity-enhancing information on subjects such as inclusion rates, nutritional benefits and more, of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in livestock feed rations. This initiative is part of an ongoing effort to build awareness of and demand for the product.
Fifteen years ago, a second generation Iowa farmer Jim Greif and Iowa Farmer Today launched a website that livestreamed the crop season for Greif’s corn. The site generated more than a million hits worldwide. This year, Greif decided to bring the corn cam website back featuring a test plot that includes genetically modified (GM) corn varieties.
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).
Representatives of Growth Energy, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) traveled to Tokyo this week to follow up on an industry market assessment of the potential to export U.S. ethanol to Japan. Over the next two years, the government of Japan will be undertaking a full review of its national energy policies, including biofuels, potentially opening up opportunities for additional ethanol exports there.
The U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) office in Japan recently held a sorghum food tasting event attended by more than 80 food industry reporters, food bloggers and food industry sorghum users who were able to try new sorghum-based dishes and encouraged to share their experiences with their readers and colleagues.
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.
Even with negotiators for the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks gathered this week in Hawaii, progress on this critical agreement to growing ag exports remains stalled by the lack of U.S. trade promotion authority (TPA).
Several negotiating partners, including Canada and Japan, have publicly stated they will not put their final negotiating positions on the table until Congress grants TPA for the Obama Administration. With a presidential election looming in the United States, further delay creates a real risk of TPP being delayed until 2017.
The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is pleased to announce that five of its international offices have launched websites, including three since the beginning of the year.
The offices and there web addresses are as follows:
More than 160 Japanese buyers, traders and end-users turned out last week to attend the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) 2015 Corn Outlook Conference in Tokyo. A blue-chip panel presented a detailed assessment of the U.S. supply and demand situation, key policy factors influencing the evolution of U.S. agricultural trade policy and the U.S. corn market outlook for 2015.