The U.S. Grains Council is holding its 7th Annual International Marketing Conference and 50th Annual Membership Meeting in Mexico. One of the main purposes of this meeting is for the organization to create a new working plan for the development of U.S. grain exports and a bright spot for corn growers has been the growth in the export of DDGS.
I’m attending the meeting and had a chance to visit with National Corn Growers Association CEO, Rick Tolman, seen here addressing one of the conference meetings. NCGA is a founding member of the U.S. Grains Council.
Rick, who worked for USGC for many years, says that NCGA considers the Grains Council their international trade partner. The two organizations have a very strong working relationship. He says one of the things he’s really happy to hear discussed here at this meeting is how well exports of DDGS have been due to the efforts of the Grains Council. That’s good news for corn growers for whom the production of ethanol is so important right now. He says that the Grains Council is looking at other value added products they can promote for export too.
Since Rick is here instead of attending the National Ethanol Conference which gets underway today I asked him what’s going on in the ethanol industry from a corn growers perspective. He says there is a whole list of challenges and opportunities for ethanol. He says that with the final rule making on the RFS-2 it has improved the regulations but also created some challenges. It has given more optimism for growth of the business he says but the EPA is still giving a big penalty to ethanol for indirect land use change. He says it’s “tying an anvil around the ankle of the industry and trying to move forward and compete.” NCGA will continue to work with EPA to remove the unfair part of the new rules.
By the way, Cindy is attending the National Ethanol Conference so you’ll be seeing her coverage here on Domestic Fuel once the meeting gets going. The opening general session will be tomorrow morning.
You can listen to my interview with Rick here: