Illinois corn checkoff dollars are partnered each year with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC). USGC works with current and potential international customers of U.S. corn. To sum it up, they provide “customer service” to our export customers. They also do government relations work and help troubleshoot trade issues. Illinois Corn Marketing Board Director Paul Jeschke is featured in a USGC video designed to keep our overseas customers up-to-date on the 2014 corn crop.
It’s not unusual for international buyers to want firsthand information from farmers regarding the estimated size of the current crop and also its anticipated quality.
To calm fears that our cold, wet, and late planting season brought about amongst our export customers, Paul says, “In the springtime when it’s cold, that’s the least important growing time for corn. The summer weather is the big factor. A warmer June, July or August could put us on schedule for a normal harvest.”
With over half of our Illinois corn crop leaving the state for export markets, this type of work is very important.
Currently, the USDA rates the Illinois corn crop at 75% good to excellent.