Taiwan is the seventh largest U.S. ag export market and the sixth for corn so a trip to the U.S. to learn about corn and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGs) was successful for a group of grain buyers from the country. The participants visited Indiana and Michigan and learned about production, application, grading and quality standards. In addition, the group headed home armed with the knowledge to better handle, procure and store corn and DDGs.
The trip was organized by the U.S. Grains Council who reported that in 2015, Taiwan imported 1.84 million metric tons of corn with 95 percent of the total used for animal feed in the swine and poultry sectors.
“DDGS use is growing in Taiwan. Currently, the inclusion rate is low, and we’re trying to encourage producers to increase that percentage to create better quality feed,” said Clover Chang, Taiwan office director at the U.S. Grains Council, the sponsor of this week’s team travel.
In order to facilitate this process and encourage confidence in U.S. corn and DDGS purchases, the group took part in several learning and information sharing opportunities. The trip began in Indiana, where the team visited Purdue University to learn about soil and crop management techniques as well as performance evaluation for corn and soybeans. This included a look into technological and industry standards geared towards quality, an important factor in buying decisions. In addition, the group visited the Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation and Phenotyping Center to supplement this knowledge and see research in crop productivity in action, and a transportation facility to see the logistic involved in grain shipping.
When in Michigan, the group visited a poultry farm and feed mill operations, and an ethanol plant where DDGs are produced. Chang noted that while Taiwan is still in the early stages of ethanol research, the visit gave attendees the opportunity to see how ethanol could be used in the future. He added that the trip also enabled the participants to learn how technology is being applied across agriculture to improve quality and efficiency.
Chang concluded, “The Council continues to work to find ways to promote ethanol in Taiwan. This was a great opportunity for stakeholders to see how valuable it can be.“