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Grains Council Outreach Efforts Talk Biotech, DDGS

Delegations from Japan travel to the United States to learn more about biotech, while Egyptians get a lesson in DDGS.

An key role for the U.S. Grains Council is to inform world trading partners about advancements and trends in agriculture. And to hammer home new technology benefits for global agriculture. Two events this week highlight that activity.

A group of journalists and a farmer from Japan are in the United States this week exploring how biotechnology has helped U.S. farmers increase production while reducing the environmental impact of their operations. The team, sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council, has seen biotech crops and conventional crops co-exist in the field and learned about new biotech products in development.

The Japanese group spent time at USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to learn about the regulatory framework for ensuring biotech product safety. They even visited an E85 station to learn more about the renewable fuel. The trip started in Washington, DC, but the visitors made it to the Midwest to see crops in the field.

"The team was impressed by the capability of growers to make their own decision about planting acreage and selecting crops by collecting and analyzing information," said Hiroko Sakashita, USGC associate director in Japan. "The Japanese reporters and farmer also found out how aggressive U.S. growers are in collecting information about new technology when they visited the Farm Progress Show." The tour ended Thursday with a visit to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to learn about research into production to create a sustainable food supply.

Meanwhile, a team visiting Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri and Louisiana from Egypt, got a lesion in distiller's dried grains with solubles and reliability of supply. Representatives of the Egyptian feed milling, aquaculture, dairy, beef cattle, water buffalo and poultry sectors, as well as a grain importer, received an in-depth look at U.S. DDGS production, handling and use as they toured ethanol plants, a dairy operation and a grain loading facility.

The team met with USGC members NorthStar Grain International; Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Consolidated Grain and Barge, Inc.; Eurofins GeneScan, Inc. and U.S. Commodities. The tour wraps up today with visits to a Cargill grain elevator and the Federal Grain Inspection Service field office in Destrehan, La.

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