August 25, 2011

Nebraska Corn Board Meets with Chinese Trade Team

Which country has one of the largest populations and has an economy that is exploding in growth? The answer is China. The latest statistic on China’s population states that it has around 1.3 billion people and an economy that is expected to grow around 9.28% in 2011. Not only is China growing in its population and economy, but the country has also increased the amount of corn it imports from other nations. In 2010, the USDA estimated that China imported 1.5 million metric tons (MMT) of corn from U.S. corn farmers.

On August 19, the Nebraska Corn Board had the opportunity to meet with a Chinese trade team that was hosted by Ag Processing Inc. The Chinese trade team was a group of traders from COFCO, one of China’s largest oil and food importers and exporters. Nebraska Corn Board’s Executive Director, Don Hutchens, explained some of the things that are happening in Nebraska’s corn industry and also some of the challenges that Nebraska corn farmers are facing. Alan Tiemann and Dave Nielsen, Nebraska Corn Board farmer-directors, also attended and shared information about their farm operations and also how this year’s corn crop compares to previous years. After a luncheon, the Chinese trade team traveled out to Dave Nielsen’s farm operation so that the trade team members could see this year’s corn crop along with some of the technology and equipment that corn farmers are using today.

Dave Nielsen explained to the trade team members how his multi-generation family farm works and how he is producing more corn with fewer resources. Dave also explained how he is using no-till practices and uses crop rotations to try and increase yields. Many of the Chinese trade team members were surprised at how much it costs to operate a farm and also at how many acres Dave farms. In China, corn farms are a lot smaller than corn farms here in the United States. Many of the members of the trade team were able to view an ear of corn that was just entering into the dent stage.

Overall, it was a great experience to show the Chinese what Nebraska’s corn crop will be like this year, and also a great way for Nebraska to continue expanding its exports to other countries. Opportunities like these help expand not only Nebraska’s exports, but also the United States exports. As mentioned earlier, China has a growing population and economy. As China continues to grow, we will most likely see its’ imports of U.S. corn grow as well.

To see more pictures from the Chinese trade team visit, you can visit our flickr account.

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