According to the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, total coarse grain production in 2009 is expected to increase 2.4 %, but total feed use will also increase. U.S. Grains Council Special Assistant for Planning, Evaluation and Projects Erick Erickson told the USGC International Marketing Conference and Annual Membership Meeting in Guatemala City, Guatemala that U.S. farmers stake in the global marketplace has become more important than ever before.
"There are a lot of uncertainties of what 2009 will bring for U.S. commodities, world economic growth, oil prices and finical turnaround," Erickson said. "The downturn in total world trade and increase in exportable supplies in countries like Russia, the United Kingdom and the European Union will provide a tough year for U.S. coarse grains exports. However, the fundamentals for U.S. farmers to sustain their market share and continue to meet global demand are in tact."
Although U.S. producers account for 60% of the world's production of coarse grains, lower exports have been expected in 2009. However, weather conditions in Brazil and Argentina have hurt their crops, which may stimulate demand for U.S. exports.
"U.S. ethanol production provided a tremendous boost in corn demand over the last five years. Although some questioned whether or not ethanol production would limit the availability of U.S. corn, U.S. farmers have proven they can provide enough corn for feed, food and fuel," Erickson said. "The United States will continue to be the major supplier of coarse grains for the world. The Council will continue to explore market opportunities for U.S. coarse grains and work vigorously to increase profitability for U.S. growers."