In response to concerns about US corn quality, the Council invited participants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama to participate in a training program on the US Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) grain inspection programme.
The goal was to familiarize the Central American feed industry on the FGIS’s standardised grain quality controls and eliminate misunderstandings.
"These five Central American countries imported 2.4 million metric tons of US corn last year. These are very important, reliable buyers of our feed grains," stated Kurt Shultz, USGC regional director in Latin America and the Caribbean Region.
Lack of knowledge
"There is a tremendous variability in understanding of not only US grain quality standards, but also in how each feed mill implements its quality control programs.
“This creates problems for the feed mills that don’t have quality control programs to manage the natural variability that occurs in grain shipments, which can lead to feed mill inefficiencies and financial losses."
As part of its customer servicing program, the Council’s focus on educating feed mill operators about these standards will dispel some of the quality concerns that feed mills may have and help them design an efficient, cost-effective program to address grain quality.
"The participants were very enthused about the how to standardize their quality control programs to improve overall management of grain: dealing with basic grain quality parameters, mycotoxin testing methods, grain storage problem solving, feed mill process control and problems as they arise," stated Jay O’Neil, senior agricultural economist at the International Grains Program.