There's a lot more to the international grain trade than loading the rail cars or the barges at your local terminals. If you're delivering grain to Central America, you're looking for any and every way to make US grains more valuable and competitive against the increasingly more competent South American competition. We take the system for granted on the "upstream" side of things too much of the time.
At the US Grains Council meeting, delegates have learned from allied industry and local government officials that the Panama Canal is on target to become a new axis of world transportation in 2014. That's not just good news for US and Illinois farmers, it's also good news for Argentina, for example, who by all local reports provides a more consistent, higher quality #2 yellow corn.
So how does the US maintain its status as the #1 supplier of corn to the world? It's not a simple answer and it will require the efforts of all interested parties, not just farmers.
A world of trade awaits. Just look at the image included in this update. It displays an atlas of the world based on grain imports. Notice the US and Canada have all but disappeared. These are our customers. How do you feel about your customer service?
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