Council Reinforces U.S. Quality To Defend Markets In Southeast Asia

To reinforce the value of U.S.-origin corn, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is committed to defending Indonesia’s 1 million metric ton starch market by engaging with the domestic corn industry. In addition, quality corn makes quality feed, as in the case of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), a staple used in Indonesia’s poultry industry.

“Instilling customer confidence in U.S. origin is a cornerstone of what we do at the Council,” said Caleb Wurth, USGC assistant regional director for Southeast Asia. “Any opportunity we get to show off the resiliency, efficiency and sustainability of U.S. growers, we take it.”

Recently, Wurth and Dr. Budi Tangendjaja, USGC regional technical consultant in Indonesia, were invited to speak at a virtual event sponsored by a leading agricultural media outlet about the safety, quality and sustainable production practices of the U.S. farm system and the risks of mycotoxins in the Indonesian feed and food supply.

Corn grown in a humid climate without proper post-harvest handling often results in broken kernels and higher corn moisture content which can invite mycotoxins, like aflatoxin, often found in Indonesia. However, importing lower-moisture, high quality corn and DDGS from the U.S. can be a complimentary solution.

The Council’s education efforts included sharing a comprehensive study on grain storage in tropical climates, with results showing that U.S. corn can be stored in tropical weather locations in properly, well-designed and maintained silos or warehouses with no type of treatment for at least 75 days without having any effect on quality. With mold inhibitor applied upon arrival and grain chilling in the silos, U.S. corn can be stored for at least four months without any effect on quality. The study also showed that U.S. corn stored at safe moisture content below 14.5 percent does not show any increase in aflatoxin levels.

At the meeting that included more than 300 online participants with an opening address by the former Republic of Indonesia Minister of Agriculture, Wurth and Dr. Budi addressed quality and supply chain concerns in the country by showcasing the transparency of the U.S. farm system and how it produces and distributes high-quality, low-mycotoxin corn.

Dr. Budi advised that controlling mycotoxins requires a comprehensive approach from pre-harvest to post-harvest. U.S. famers have perfected this system, that enables them to be the supplier of choice in exporting grain in all forms around the world.

“The Council’s boots-on-the-ground approach allows us to partner with customers and build demand from the inside out,” Wurth said. “This trust between the Council and our customers allows us to stay in tune with the market and deliver programs that solve real problems.”

While Indonesia continues to be a trusted corn customer, the country restricts corn importation to protect its domestic corn production. In recent years, the Indonesian starch industry has justified importing corn due to the quality standards needed to produce high quality food starches.

Indonesia, with a population of over 270 million, produces 25 million metric tons of feed annually, but runs a significant energy deficit. This supply and demand reality resulted in Indonesia importing 1.05 million metric tons of U.S. DDGS and corn gluten meal in 2020.

Read the full Storage In Tropical Climates study.