Stops last week at Maple Acres Farm near Kokomo and Howell Farms in Henry County were part of a U.S. tour for Chinese government officials and the U.S. Grains Council. The delegation also visited the POET ethanol plant in Alexandria and had witnessed the USDA crop report lockup the previous day in Washington.
Dr. Bryan Lohmar is the grains council country director in Beijing and accompanied the group which represents administrations that oversee grain imports, reserves and storage in China.
“We decided early on to sponsor a trip for the State Administration of Grain which is the lead agency in this trip and then ask them to select people from other agencies that they thought would benefit from a trip like this.”
Lohmar said there were a couple of key points this delegation wanted to focus on, how the U.S. system monitors and manages quality along the marketing chain and how market information is generated and used. Learning more about both has its advantages.
“It builds up familiarity with the two systems and for China to understand our system better I think is very important as they likely will continue to rely on imports for some of their supplies. It’s very important to know where those imports are coming from and to build up personal relationships with producers and people within the market.”
He said the group was very fortunate to witness the lockup and they came away with a better understanding of the process.
“I think that they were very impressed with the system and understanding just how complex it is to come up with even just production estimates not to mention supply and demand estimates from around the world, and to pull them all together with the amount of energy and resources that are put into it. Yet ultimately all estimates are wrong but people do the best they can and the market responds according to the information that’s been published and that’s how the market works. So I think it was very informative for them to see that these are not etched in stone but they come out of a process and the market respects that process and responds to it then moves on to the next month.
Visits to Maryland, Illinois, and Louisiana were also scheduled. The Indiana stops were supported by the Indiana Corn Marketing Council.
Hear the full HAT interview with Lohmar:Dr Bryan Lohmar-USGC