Hutchens provides insight on the Ukraine as a grain, livestock producer

Media: The bulk of information is in the audio files (download below). Feel free to pull from those for print or edit as necessary for radio.

LINCOLN, NE – Despite its current ban on exports, farmers in the Ukraine have the potential to be a significant contributor to the global grain market, said Don Hutchens, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board, following a trade mission to the country organized by the U.S. Grains Council.

“There are vessels of grain loaded but they are not allowed to leave the country due to the export ban,” he said. “While this has grain traders and grain elevators in the Ukraine upset, it does create a market opportunity for the United States because much of that grain was destined for the Mediterranean and North Africa.”

Hutchens was on the mission with corn executives from a number of states, including those from Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, North Dakota, Kansas, Ohio and Kentucky. U.S. Grains Council representatives included Chris Corry, senior director of international operations based in Washington; Cary Sifferath, director for the Mediterranean and Africa based in Tunisia, and Alexander Kholopov, a consultant based in Russia.

While on the mission, they met with Ukraine Congressional leaders, agriculture officials, farmers, grain traders and export facility managers.

“We need to have a good understanding of not only where our competition is, but where long-term potential markets exist,” Hutchens said. “We compete with the Ukraine for exports, but the country has a long way to go in developing its livestock industry.”

The Nebraska Corn Board is a self-help program, funded and managed by Nebraska corn farmers. Producers invest in the program at a rate of 1/4 of a cent per bushel of corn sold. Nebraska corn checkoff funds are invested in programs of market development, research and education.

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NOTE: Below are audio cuts that feature Don Hutchens, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board. Click to listen and download.

CORN_Hutchens_1.mp3 (1:02): Hutchens provides a bit of detail on the purpose of the trip and how what happens in the Ukraine impacts Nebraska.

CORN_Hutchens_2.mp3 (0:32): Hutchens answers the question: What is going on in terms of livestock production in the Ukraine? And where do you believe that is going?

CORN_Hutchens_3.mp3 (1:22): Hutchens answers the question: What have you seen as far as the structure of farms and land ownership in the Ukraine? (Biotechnology comes up in the answer, too.)

CORN_Hutchens_4.mp3 (0:56): Hutchens answers the question: What did you learn from your meetings with grain elevator companies?

CORN_Hutchens_5.mp3 (1:09): Hutchens answers the question: Is the Ukraine looking at ethanol or other biofuels?

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