Grain Storage, Quality Improvements Underway In Mexico

In December 2023, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), along with the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, traveled to Veracruz and Mérida, Mexico, to meet with its three participating partners in its tropical grain storage project.

The Council also conducted meetings with members of the Cámara Nacional de Maíz Industrial (CANAMI), and officials from the Port of Progreso to discuss and strategize about the current state of corn imports in the country.

In these visits, the Council aimed to demonstrate the results of its work with two feedlots, Santa Rita and Las Maravillas, as well as one feed mill, PROVI—which has helped mitigate grain quality deterioration due to non-optimal storage practices through storage management trainings and grain bin monitoring. Representatives from the three facilities spoke very positively about how the Council’s intervention and guidance left their staff better prepared to handle incidents while also giving them increased responsibility within the grain storage management process.

“A major factor in why the Council has seen success in Mexico has been developing trust and key relationships from operation staff up to management. This, coupled with the reliability of USGC Mexico staff, has been key in making a tangible difference in raising knowledge levels and increasing adoption of proper storage practices,” said Heidi Bringenberg, USGC director in Mexico. “Some key adoptions include the regular monitoring of CO2 levels, aeration and regular fumigation. As a result of these practices, our hope is that our partners will continue to implement these methods independently and will see the benefits on both the grain they bring in as well as finished products.”

One of the key goals of this project has been to show international customers how proper storage and transport of grain can retain quality and avoid difficulties during processing.

“As we continue to develop this project, we feel our work serves as an excellent model for future expansion within Mexico as well as in the Western Hemisphere. In the long-term, we see this project developing to not only measure the impact of storage practices on the grain as a raw material, but also how it can impact the finished product, in this case animal feed. By doing so, this can quantify benefits throughout the value chain and show direct correlations that could further adoption of these practices and monitoring advances,” said Alexander Grabois, USGC Manager of Global Strategies and Trade.