TUNISIA – The US Grains Council (USGC) has rolled out corn quality information in Tunisia, following an event where more than 90 feed millers, poultry and livestock producers, importers and end-users from eight countries in the Middle East and Africa region attended in Tunisia.

Ramy H. Taieb, USGC regional director for the Middle East and Africa, provided opening remarks along with Nabil Maouia, agricultural specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis.

Danielson Castillo also provided an overview of the key findings of the 2017/2018 Corn Quality Harvest Report, including that more than 95% of U.S. corn samples tested rated at U.S. grade number 2 or better.

Two U.S. farmers also joined the rollout seminars to provide direct-from-the-ground reports on the most recent crop – Herbert Ringel, representing the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, and Randy Woodruff, representing the Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board.

“Every year, the Council organizes quality rollouts to disseminate information at two critical points in the corn marketing year – at harvest and at time of export,” said Alejandra Danielson Castillo, USGC manager of global trade.

“This information is very useful for all stakeholders to not only glean information about current crop conditions and quality, which then translates to purchasing decisions, but also in allowing USGC to showcase the value, transparency and integrity of the U.S. corn export market from the farm through the whole marketing system.”

The the corn quality rollouts also included technical education on end uses for U.S. corn.

USGC member Randy Ives of Pellet Technology and his colleague Ryan Mass from parent company ICM Ventures provided an overview of the nutritional benefits and alternative uses for corn and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in pellet feed production.

In addition, Doga Yildizci, global trader with CHS Europe, gave an overview of the global outlook for corn in 2018.

Tunisia was one of seven countries in which the Council conducted corn quality rollouts this season to share the results of the 2017/2018 Corn Quality Harvest Report.

“Both farmers provided their unique perspective as corn growers on U.S. corn production and its handling and processing,” Danielson Castillo said.

“This was also an opportunity for our farmer members to highlight the impact corn has on their families’ livelihoods.”

A second report, the 2017/2018 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report, is scheduled for early 2018, which will measure corn quality at export terminals at the point of loading for international shipment.

As a package, the reports provide reliable, timely and transparent information on the quality of U.S. corn as it moves through export channels.

Quality is affected by many factors including being mingled with corn from other locations; aggregated into trucks, barges and rail cars; and stored, loaded and unloaded several times.