News & Events
The United States has been in an enviable position with its ability to post an agricultural trade surplus year after year, said Jim Miller, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.
Miller, at the U.S. Grains Council’s 50th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting, said that trend will continue in fiscal year 2010, when the agricultural trade surplus is estimated to be some $28 billion, the second largest in history.
From the facilitation of a buyer’s conference in Southeast Asia to spearheading feeding trials in Jordan, the U.S. Grains Council aligns its strategies with goals outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) as part of a shared effort to increase export opportunities for U.S. producers.
As sorghum starts to make inroads into new countries, marketing arms like the U.S. Grains Council and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) play valuable roles in its promotion. As a result, three overseas markets show great potential for imports of the product: Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
After years of devastation from the 1989 and 2003 Gulf Wars, Iraq’s poultry industry is starting to undergo a revival, and local banks have actively begun to expand business with Iraqi companies. This new interest by bankers gives a boost to the credit guarantee program offered by the U.S. Grains Council.
Southeast Asia’s imports of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) between January and February 2010 show a 73 percent year over year increase, the U.S. Grains Council reports. In 2009, the region imported 890,000 metric tons of the ethanol co-product, accounting for 16 percent of the United States’ total DDGS exports, an increase from 590,000 tons in 2008.
As part of its mission of Developing Markets, Enabling Trade, Improving Lives, the U.S. Grains Council sees tremendous export potential of the U.S. ethanol co-product, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), to the Middle East. This week, the Council, in partnership with the Hammoudeh Dairy Farm in Amman, Jordan, began the long-awaited DDGS feeding trial utilizing Hammoudeh Farm’s dairy sector.
As the agricultural trade industry sees more exporters entering the picture, the U.S. Grains Council is working to ensure U.S. corn, barley, sorghum and their co-products remain competitive. Last week, USGC Manager of International Operations Alvaro Cordero accompanied USGC Consultant Jose Alvarado to Morocco for training sessions with Moroccan and Algerian traders on Free on Board (FOB) contracting.
More than 1,500 attendees sampled food products made from U.S. barley at the U.S. Grains Council’s booth during the Taipei International Bakery Show held last week. The Council’s booth displayed information on the healthy characteristics of high beta-glucan U.S. barley while displaying recipes of bakery products, noodles, barley tea and more, all made from American barley.
As a direct result of U.S. Grains Council programs, 7,000 metric tons (276,000 bushels) of U.S. sorghum was tendered to Morocco last week for mid-March delivery. Special checkoff funds from Council member United Sorghum Checkoff Program allowed staff from CasaGrains, the Moroccan poultry feed mill and production facility that tendered the sorghum, to travel to the United States and Mexico last November to view U.S. sorghum production and use firsthand.
The 2010 Commodity Classic is currently underway in Anaheim, Calif., as thousands of agricultural producers, agribusinesses, legislative officials and interested parties gather from across the United States for networking and educational opportunities.
As a partial sponsor of the event, the United Sorghum Checkoff Program’s (USCP) Board of Directors met to discuss policy priorities and the future of the checkoff initiative.