At the National Association of Farm Broadcasters convention in Kansas City, Farm Director, KC Sheperd, visited with the Vice President for the U.S. Grains Council, Cary Sifferath.
Sifferath said the U.S. Grains Council is always working to identify where they need to be to develop new frontier markets for today and 10 to 15 years from now.
“We just opened up our new office in New Delhi, India, to cover that South Asia market, and we are quite excited about that,” Sifferath said. “India has been a good market for U.S. ethanol exports already and trying to crack open that India market for other grain, whether corn and sorghum or DDGS.”
Other countries around India, Sifferath said, are also being covered by the office in New Delhi.
Because of drier conditions in many areas of the U.S., Sifferath said many international customers have had to be reassured that the grain they need will be available. Low water levels in rivers such as the Mississippi River, Sifferath said, have also been an issue because a significant amount of grain is moved down those rivers to reach the export market.
Sifferath also talked about what the U.S. Grains Council would like to see in the upcoming farm bill.
“There are two big marketing programs,” Sifferath said. “The Market Access Program, MAP, and the Foreign Market Development, FMD programs within USDA.”
The MAP and FMD programs, Sifferath said, allow the U.S. Grains Council to have nine international offices worldwide, and people on the ground outside of those offices. Those two programs, Sifferath added, allow the U.S. Grains Council to stretch membership payments and use those funds to work all over the world.
“There is already a movement afoot to double those programs because it has been stagnant,” Sifferath said. “They have been basically level for the last 10, 12, 15 years now.”