SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois’ export-dependent grain industry will have an opportunity next week to demonstrate its vast production and distribution capabilities to 23 potential foreign customers.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture has arranged to bring the group here as part of its annual Grain Tour, a five-day “reverse trade mission” that begins Monday, Sept. 10. Participants will see firsthand Illinois’ state-of-the-art grain production, handling and storage techniques and learn about trade opportunities with the state’s producers and suppliers.
“Illinois agriculture owes much of its success to foreign trade and the loyal customers it has throughout the world,” Acting Director of Agriculture Bob Flider said. “Nearly half of our crops are exported, and the demand from our trading partners has helped us to sustain a level of production that is among the highest in the United States.”
Illinois is the second largest producer of corn and soybeans in the United States. In 2010, it harvested 1.9 billion bushels of corn and 466 million bushels of soybeans. Cash receipts from the two crops totaled $11.8 billion, including $4.8 billion in export sales.
The foreign buyers are coming to Illinois from China, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam. During their stay, they will visit an Auburn corn and soybean farm, a Mattoon grain, oilseed and food ingredient supplier, a Hennepin ethanol plant and the Chicago Board of Trade.
The complete itinerary for the 2012 Illinois Grain Tour follows:
Monday, Sept. 10
8:30 a.m. Tim Seifert Farm, Auburn
11:30 a.m. GSI, Assumption
Tuesday, Sept. 11
9:45 a.m. Clarkson Grain, Mattoon
1:00 p.m. Ill. Crop Improvement, Champaign
Wednesday, Sept. 12
9:00 a.m. Marquis Ethanol, Hennepin
12:00 p.m. Spirit Family Farms, Sheridan
3:30 p.m. AgResearch, Inc., Joliet
Thursday, Sept. 13
9:30 a.m. Prairie Creek Grain, Elwood
1:00 p.m. BNSF or UP Intermodal Terminal, Joliet
3:30 p.m. Seedburo Equipment Co., DesPlaines
Friday, Sept. 14
8:45 a.m. Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago