Indian Starch Millers Visit Illinois

From April 22-27, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) hosted a delegation of representatives from the wet milling industry to partake in a course on corn wet milling hosted by the University of Illinois, as well as a grain storage management workshop.

The goal of this program was to further train the delegation in proper practices, as well as to highlight the impact of various corn origins on their operations, which can help in the long-term in increasing profitability as well as maximizing efficiency. The starch industry is one of India’s fastest growing sectors, with projected growth of 20 percent over the next five years, and will be key in exports of value-added co-products. Additionally, the delegation received expert insight on topics including the uses of modified starches, mycotoxin management, alternative wet milling processes and discussion on equipment.

“India’s budding starch industry continues to show high potential and has proven to be a key partner for the Council in showing how our efforts promote a “win-win” atmosphere, as Council efforts have been able to both test and analyze Indian corn samples, to get a better understanding of yields and how plants can work to optimize their operations,” said Reece Cannady, USGC regional director for South Asia.

Following the two-day course, the Council provided a tailored course on grain storage management and grain quality. This was achieved through a half-day lecture session that included a detailed overview of the U.S. sampling, scaling and binning systems while also detailing proper silo management and the importance of monitoring factors such as carbon dioxide levels, inventory levels and aeration. Discussions also focused on how using tools for these indicators can improve safety within grain facilities and minimize the need for interventions where staff members enter grain bins.

While the current system in India is much more manual, this training gave insights as to how the industry can continue to develop its storage, especially in light of the Government of India’s recent launch of the world’s largest grain storage investment plan that would create storage for more than 700,000 metric tons (MT) of grain. The delegation was able to get a first-hand look at this process through visits to grain elevators operated by Top Flight Grain and Total Grain Management (TGM) as well as a visit to the Illinois Crop Improvement Association lab, which is used to analyze samples for the Council’s Corn Harvest and Export Cargo Quality Reports.

“By giving our delegation members training on storage management and how best practices can minimize losses, we hope to continue to create instances that will benefit the local industry and help them make key advances that would increase their profitability and productivity. Grain storage management is one of the most important aspects of any operation and the work the Council has done to measure the impact of storage in tropical climates can play a large role in this market in mitigating quality deterioration,” Cannady said.