The National Corn Growers Association hosted guests from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture Chicago Branch today for a series of presentations on the U.S. corn crop outlook for 2014, recent trends in demand and supply, and updates on trade negotiations, the farm bill, and transportation and infrastructure. This annual visit provides an opportunity to build relationships and foster understanding with important representatives from the Japanese market, historically the largest importer of U.S. corn.
"As always, we are glad to welcome these important officials and foster our valued trade partnership with Japan," said NCGA CEO Rick Tolman. "The open discussions and productive dialogue reinforce our trade ties and offer a unique opportunity to reiterate our dedication serving this vital market."
Prior to the meeting, Japan External Trade Organization Chicago Agriculture Department Director Daisuke Ito noted interest in exploring more deeply the recent trends in demand and supply pertaining to ethanol, China and the Ukraine. Tolman, NCGA Vice President of Production and Utilization Paul Bertels and Director of Biofuels Dr. Pam Keck provided an in-depth look at these issues, along with many others, that spurred insightful conversation.
Consulate General of Japan Chicago Economic Affairs Consul Ko Hikasa and Honorary Consul General Japan Bruce Buckland also participated in these discussions.
"U.S. corn farmers benefit when we work with international partners to advance understanding of their industry abroad," said Tolman. "Our farmers have an incredible story to tell. Using cutting edge technology and with an eye toward continuous improvement, America's farmers grow a more abundant crop using fewer resources than ever before, allowing them to meet continually growing demand. By opening our industry for the world to see, we build relationships that open markets and increase opportunities on farms across the country."