Tag Archives: Iowa

Deere & Company this week announced indefinite layoffs amid demand woes. Deere officials say more than 160 U.S. workers at agriculture machinery facilities in Illinois and Iowa will be laid off, after the company last week announced it would reduce production by 20 percent.

Reuters says Deere, the world’s largest farm equipment maker, is reeling from the fallout of the U.S.-China trade war that has slowed purchases from farmers. The layoffs include roughly 50 workers at the Harvester Works facility in East Moline, Illinois, and more than 100 workers at the Davenport Works facility in Davenport, Iowa. Deere also lowered its income forecast to $3.2 billion in August, from the previous forecast in February set at $3.6 billion.

In an August earnings report, Deere explained market concerns forced farmers to postpone major equipment purchases. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers in its monthly equipment sales report for August reported that overall sales numbers are flat to positive for the year, but the industry “remains cautious about the overall Ag economy.”

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) in conjunction with the Nebraska Corn Board and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board will soon bring a Japanese trade team of feed milling professionals to the United States. While here, the team will visit Nebraska, Iowa and Washington to better understand the U.S. corn marketing system and pave the way for continued growth in grain, ethanol and co-product sales to the country.

The team of five, including feed milling decision makers, are in the United States to see firsthand U.S. corn, co-products and ethanol production, meeting directly with U.S. suppliers and exporters.

“Prospective corn buyers from any country want to experience every point in the value chain. That’s why the Council strives to bring buyers together with sellers to facilitate trade around the world,” said Ryan LeGrand, president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council. “Japan has been a longstanding trading partner with the U.S. and is our second largest buyer of grains in all forms. We are excited to educate these newer, less-experienced Japanese feed corn millers, showcase major production facilities and farms in our country and demonstrate just how proud we are of the corn quality in the U.S., so we can continue to cement these relationships for U.S. farmers and Japanese end-users for years to come.”

Japan ranks as the second largest buyer of U.S. corn and U.S. sorghum, the third largest market for U.S. barley and the ninth largest buyer of U.S. DDGS.

Japan more than doubled U.S. ethanol imports to 934,000 gallons (331,000 bushels in corn equivalent) in 2017/2018, the most since 2010/2011. Using information provided by the Council, the Japanese Ministry of Economy (METI) modified its policy in 2018 to allow U.S. corn-based ethanol in the market based on technological advancements that raised the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction level of U.S. corn-based ethanol and allowed near-term imports of ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) made with nearly 100 million gallons of ethanol.

“Nebraska has a long-standing tradition and reputation of producing quality ag products,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board. “We’re appreciative of Japan’s business and we’re working to strengthen this relationship well into the future. I’m excited for this group to be in our great state.”

During their time in Iowa and Nebraska, participants will visit a corn farm operation, grain elevator with a rail terminal, ethanol plant and feed mill before flying to Washington to stop in at an export terminal where they will see how grain is sampled and goes through grain inspection before making its way to Japan.