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Harvest Progresses as Iowa Corn Farmers Host Chinese Feed Buyers

October 13, 2017


Lisa Cassady, Public Relations Manager, 515-443-3947,

Harvest Progresses as Iowa Corn Farmers Host Chinese Feed Buyers

JOHNSTON, IA – October 13, 2017 - A U.S. Grains Council (USGC) trade team of Chinese buyers of corn and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) visited Iowa this week. The delegation composed of representatives from China’s leading feed mills and importers, whose imports account for nearly all of the nation’s corn imports.

“By hosting this team, we helped to further cultivate the U.S. Grains Council’s relationships between U.S. suppliers and Chinese feed buyers and importers,” stated Iowa Corn Promotion Board Director Mark Heckman, who farms near West Liberty. “This mission trip will give our customers the opportunity to see the corn production chain first-hand, ask questions directly at farms, elevators and ethanol plants, increasing their understanding of the quality advantages of U.S. corn and DDGs. On my farm, they were able to experience corn harvest and see how we test our corn for moisture and quality.”

While visiting farms, ethanol plants, feed mills, and attending training seminars at universities, trade team participants gained insights regarding this year’s crop conditions and a better understanding of U.S. feed grains as a valuable ingredient in their feed rations. Stops included:

  • Visiting the Cargill Ag Horizon Mississippi Terminal Loading Facility to learn about corn quality, grain inspection, and see the loading of this year’s harvest onto barges on the Mississippi River.

  • Touring Mike Paustian’s farm in Walcott to learn about his hog operation and how he incorporates DDGs in his feed rations.

  • Stopping at the Iowa Corn office for a presentation about the basics of the Iowa corn and ethanol industries and a forecast report on Iowa’s corn harvest.

  • Visiting Mark Heckman’s farm for lunch and to see how an Iowa family farm operates.

  • Touring the Corn LP Ethanol Plant in Goldfield to see the ethanol process at the ethanol production facility which produces 66 million gallons per year and is co-located with the local grain cooperative.

  • Dropping in at the Iowa State University BioCentury Research Farm to discover the latest research into next generation ethanol and their impacts on co-products. 

China remains a significant market for U.S. grains. A few years ago, it was the largest market for U.S. DDGs. Current government policies allow greater market access to U.S. corn and corn products. In 2016, China ranked as the sixth largest customer of U.S. DDGs and the fifth largest market for ethanol exports. 

“There remains enormous market potential, especially with the increased demand for animal proteins and therefore feed grains,” said Heckman. “China’s growth and development continues going strong. We look forward to working with the U.S. Grains Council to further grow this key market.”

Iowa Corn Promotion Board invests checkoff dollars in the U.S. Grain Council, a private, non-profit organization that works to develop exports in more than 50 countries from 10 worldwide offices and its Washington, D.C. headquarters. 


The Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB), works to develop and defend markets, fund research, and provide education about corn and corn products.  For more information, visit

The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including ethanol and distiller’s dried grains with solubes (DDGS). The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture's profitability. Founded in 1960, the Council is a private, non-profit corporation with 10 international offices and programs in more than 50 countries. Its unique membership includes producer organizations and agribusinesses with a common interest in developing export markets. See more at


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