WASHINGTON, DC, US — The US Grains Council (USGC) recently hosted two Mexican trade teams in the United States so they could get a first-hand look at production taking place for corn and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS). The yellow corn and DDGS team consisted of representatives from 10 Mexican companies that regularly procure grains that may be sourced from the local crop or imported from the United States and Brazil, while executives from Gruma SAB de CV, a global food company and leader in the production of corn and flour tortillas worldwide, made up the white corn team.

The yellow corn and DDGS team visited several ethanol production plants. The group began in Nebraska before traveling to Iowa later in the week. While at the plants, the group gained a better understanding of ethanol production, while also getting a closer look at the advantages of high protein DDGS (HiPro), the USGC said.

The group toured several farms in Nebraska and Iowa, and ended their trip with a meeting with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, who explained the relevance of ethanol to the state of Iowa and the importance of supporting ethanol use in the United States and around the world, the USGC noted.

“The participants left with a better understanding of how the industry, producers and universities have been able to establish very close ties that have allowed them to achieve production efficiency,” said Patricia Esqueda, USGC marketing specialist in Mexico.

The white corn team, meanwhile, made stops in Illinois and Nebraska. The white corn group’s mission was to introduce the Gruma executives to merchandisers and white corn producers, while focusing on sustainability practices, comparing non-genetically modified (GM) corn to GM corn and discussing new contracting opportunities.

The Gruma team visited with officials from the Illinois Corn Growers Association, ADM, Gavilon and Consolidated Grain and Barge to learn more about their work in the corn value chain. The Gruma team also had the opportunity to tour ethanol facilities, compare different types of corn and discuss fertilizer prices and supply chain issues.

Toward the end of the mission, the group had the opportunity to learn about the importance of transportation within the grain industry, visiting a river terminal and a railroad terminal, the USGC said.

“Bringing trade teams to the US is key in establishing confidence in the buyer’s purchases of US grains and building relationships with producers and industry,” said Sadie Marks, manager of global programs at the USGC. “With the teams’ travels through the corn belt, buyers were able to view firsthand the quality of grain, create new business opportunities and speak directly with producers who incorporate technology and sustainability to produce a quality crop. These in-person interactions are vital in not only building quality relationships, but addressing potential concerns to make sure US grains stay competitive and continue being a quality trading partner long into the future.”