Farming the world around

Posted: September 9, 2014 in agriculture, corn, farming

One of the most important things we, as the American farmer, need to remember is how important it is to raise a high quality crop that the world wants. Many times we tend to worry about yield, yield, yield. I know I am guilty of this thinking. After spending some time with our ag friends in Japan, I have come to appreciate the need to make sure that the quality of crop I am producing is the highest quality corn crop I can produce.

On Tuesday we met with 3 different groups:
Japan Ministry of Ag-Livestock Production Division
Japan Feed Manufactures Association

Every single group was greatly concerned about the size and quality of the 2014 corn crop. While we have heard how gigantic this crop will be, they have heard the same thing and wanted us to verify that this is true. We were able to verify that at this stage it looks to be an exceptional crop.

But the biggest thing that came up was the quality. We heard over and over how the 2012 corn crop’s quality was very bad. It was bad enough it forced them to go and buy South American corn. This is a big deal because the Japanese livestock and miller industries like to have a consistent quality of crop. This includes color, hardiness and protein. When they have to go to South America the color and hardiness is different which affects the quality of meat and eggs they produce.

While this was a major deal of the quality from the 2012 crop, they are also greatly concerned about the protein quality in the crop. Apparently when we raise a big crop the protein amount in the corn goes down. This seems to be an issue we are going to have to work on in American corn production. While there is no one specific factor in causing the low protein there seems to be some theories as to the cause. Whether it is weather related, artificial drying related or the fact that we are breeding more and more for ethanol production, they all seem to play a factor. But with the ability to meet with these groups face to face it allows us to reassure them that we are raising a very good crop.

At the end of the day, most everything we do is built upon relationships. Whether it is the relationship between and farmer and his seed supplier or the relationship between the farmer and the end user, they all help in making sure that the products coming out of America are still the best in the world.

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