“China continues to balance many contending factors such as modern technology, information technology, increasing mechanization and the aging agricultural labor force. There is a vast exodus of young people to the city. We witnessed land loss due to urbanization,” said Floyd Gaibler, USGC director of trade policy, who accompanied the group.

In both Heilongjian and Jilin provinces, emergence is behind normal levels due to rainy weather and low temperatures. The team also observed that germination was spotty in some locations with skipped spaces and an occurrence of hand replanting.

While in China, the seven-member delegation also met with several corn farmers, trade partners and end-users. The group visited grain storage facilities. The delegation also had the opportunity to speak with farmers who run small hog farm operations, using a modern corn-soy ration for feed.

“We had the opportunity to visit some private corn storage facilities, which we felt were well under capacity. Some analysts speculate that government storage of corn is at low levels but there is no effective way to measure it,” said Ken Kindler of Dow AgriSciences LLC. “Farmers sold most of their 2010 production at harvest.”

Other members of the mission included Gary Schmalshof from the Illinois Corn Marketing Board; Dick Gallagher of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board; Dennis Gengenbach from the Nebraska Corn Board; Lori Feltis of the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council; and DeEtta Bohling of the Kansas Corn Commission. The delegation was escorted by USGC staff Dick Kasting, director of strategic relations, and Floyd Gaibler, director of trade policy.

Click here to see pictures from this mission.