Western Regional Grain Manager Barney Bartels (left) and Grain Division Manager Kevin Gray (right) talk to members of the media touring the AgVantage FS facility at Chapin, Ia. (Photo by Carrie Muehling)
By Carrie Muehling
CHAPIN, IA. - Grain grown in the Midwest gets shipped all over the world from places AgVantage FS in Chapin, Ia.
The Growmark-owned facility loads more than 30 trains each year, each carrying 75 or 100 units to be shipped to a variety of markets around the world. The main destinations are in Arizona and California, although grain also goes to Mexico and the Center Gulf/New Orleans region for shipment through the Panama Canal to Asian markets. Some of it stays closer to home in the processing market at Clinton, Ia. In the nar future, more trains will likely head to the Pacific Northwest.
"The expansion in that market has really occurred, I believe, because of the Chinese demand and a lot of the southeast Asian demand that has been coming online," said Kevin Gray, grain division manager for AgVantage FS. "As their incomes have grown they've got a requirement of a higher diet. More protein in their diet and so there are a lot more livestock being fed and more meat in their diets. So they've looked to the United States for more feed grains and more protein, more oilseeds coming out of the Midwest. That market is closer to getting to those destinations than it is coming out of the Center Gulf."
Gray said the 2012 drought had an impact on his business as total yields and production across the state were down, but facilities still came out of harvest full of grain and the outlook is positive heading into 2013.