USGC Corn Export Cargo Report Indicates Low BCFM

Corn Export

The success of the U.S. corn export system over the past 50 years has been built on a tradition of quality, reliability and transparency in the U.S. marketing system. The U.S. Grains Council recently released its first annual Corn Export Cargo Quality Report to build trust with importers of U.S. corn, and provide transparency of the U.S. corn crop.

This new report on the export quality of the U.S. corn crop provides a more systematic annual look at the quality of the U.S. corn crop, using reliable data and a transparent, consistent methodology each year. In addition to providing an early look at the grading factors and moisture, which also are reported by the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS), this report collects information on additional quality factors that have not been surveyed systematically before.

One grading factor outlined in the report is broken corn and foreign material (BCFM), measured as a percentage of the total weight of the sample used. According to the report, the U.S. average BCFM increased from 1.0 percent at harvest with a standard deviation of 0.65 to 3.0 percent at export with standard deviation of 0.64 percent.

By Export catchment area:

• PNW was 3.0%
• Southern Rail was 2.8% and
• Gulf area was 3.1%.

It is difficult to draw conclusions from this first year of corn quality reports. However, based on information in the FGIS annual grain quality report, and on observations from previous studies conducted by University of Illinois grain quality experts and researchers, this is a very good quality crop. BCFM and stress cracks increases are due in large part to impacts during handling and drying. The industry has shifted to lower temp in their dryers over the past decades, and the increase is less than we would have seen in the 1970's and '80's.

Next year – and each year after that –the report will become more valuable as the Council will be able to make comparisons among different years using the same test methodology. All players in the corn value chain – seed companies, corn growers, traders, handlers, shippers, export buyers and users, processors and end-users – have keen interest in U.S. corn quality. These reports will provide valuable information to help sustain and improve U.S. corn quality and to help buyers make informed contracting decisions.

Click here to view the report.