SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI - This year's U.S. Grains Council Corn Mission will explore the Council's success in developing diverse corn markets, from established achievements in Japan and Taiwan to China's emergence as a leading market for distiller's dried grains with solubles and a new buyer of U.S. corn.

"Ideally, the mission's outcome is to increase our exports," says Larry Klever, an Iowa corn farmer and director serving on the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, who is participating in the mission. "With the people we're seeing, we'll be addressing their concerns. We have an excellent corn crop that will store well, and that's the message I look forward to delivering."

The mission schedule reads like a "who's who" of important Asian corn customers. In Japan, the largest importer of U.S. corn, the delegation will meet with feed manufacturers and feed trade groups, with key individual customers like Zen-Noh, and with three major corn processing associations.

The Taiwan agenda includes discussions with corn users, visits to Taiwanese manufacturers of corn-based plastic products, and a tour of a major swine operation.

In China, the group will delve into the outlook for DDGS through meetings with traders and DDGS users plus visits to a feed mill and a container port.

"The visit to China is especially timely," says Klever. "They have a renewed interest in our corn and they are an expanding market for our DDGS."

The six-person mission, scheduled from Nov. 28 to Dec. 10, includes Klever, Kent Kleinschmidt from the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Kenny McNamar and Becky Frankenbach from the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, John Whaley from the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Kelsey Pope representing the Nebraska Corn Board.

SOURCE: National Corn Growers Association