MEXICO- The US Grains Council recently toured Mexico and convinced Keken, a mega Mexican swine producer, to restart the use of distillers’ dried grains with solubles (DDGS).

The USGC held face-to-face meetings with leaders from Kekén, during which the Council addressed quality concerns that caused them to stop using DDGS half a decade ago. 

The USGC also put the fully-integrated processor in touch with US suppliers who signed long-term contracts with Kekén.

Kekén now uses 3,000 tonnes of US DDGS per month, approximately US$12.6 million yearly.

The company has feed mills, farms with more than 77,000 sows, a slaughterhouse, processing plants, and direct consumer sales points. 

Additionally, Kekén exports pork to Japan, South Korea, the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, and China.

USGC used Market Access Program (MAP) funding to facilitate the Mexican tour, promote US DDGS and highlight the significant price savings. At the time of the tour, DDGS values were roughly 85% of the value of corn.

Therefore, US DDGS offered a solution to reduce operational costs for Mexican feed operators struggling with rising feed costs.

The USGC provides that it invested US$8,000 of MAP funds on the work with Kekén, a return on investment of US$1,575 per $1 of MAP funds invested.

Past USGC chair appointed to MAIZALL board

In other news, Chad Willis, USGC’s former chair has been elected to the board of MAIZALL, which works to resolve shared problems with non-tariff barriers in global markets.

I’m excited to get started and use my experiences as a farmer here in the U.S. to contribute to the important work that MAIZALL is doing. Our collaboration will make a significant impact in developing new markets and fighting global food insecurity,” Willis said.

MAIZALL was established in 2013 by leaders from USGC, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), ABRAMILHO (Brazilian Association of Corn Producers), and MAIZAR (Argentine Corn and Sorghum Federation). 

Through this joint association, growers in the three countries cooperate to resolve shared problems with non-tariff barriers in global markets, specifically related to agricultural biotechnology, plant breeding innovation, and crop protection.

I’d like to thank Chad for accepting this responsibility and continuing to represent the Council’s mission and values on the global stage,” said Ryan LeGrand, USGC president, and CEO. 

Willis is conversant with corn and soybeans farming and is a member of the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council. 

Since joining the USGC, he has served on its Value-Added Advisory Team (A-Team) and was a vocal advocate for creating USGC’s Ethanol A-team before being elected chairman in 2021.

Chad’s position in MAIZALL will ensure that a farmer’s perspective is always at the forefront of the organization as we take on the challenge of sustainably feeding and supplying markets around the world,” LeGrand remarked.

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