Journal Express, Knoxville, IA


September 29, 2012

Fee hosts Chinese ag buyers

Southern Marion County — The future of American farmers' ability to sell corn and soybeans to China was influenced today during a visit to Marion County. 

A group of 23 Chinese business people came to learn about the condition of our crops. The visitors included presidents, chairmen, directors and others who determine whether or not China should purchase American crops. Word of the drought possibly affecting the quality and quantity of American products has spread. As China is the largest buyer of American soybeans, they wanted confirmation that their demands could be met. 

Leo, a technical manager with the American Soybean Association, said the visit helped to instill confidence in the Chinese. When prices increased by 30-40 percent over the past six months, they wanted to find out why. Leo does not believe farmers can be blamed for any problems.

"The farmers are doing their best to give China a good, quality supply," Leo said. "You cannot lay all the blame on the farmers." 

Corwin Fee, a member of the Marion County Farm Bureau Board, hosted the delegation. He was contacted by the Iowa Soybean Association about hosting the visit, something he has done before. His farm was the only soybean farming operation in the state the Chinese will visit. 

Fee said that his beans will come in slightly below normal, but his harvest will be better than others. Overall, he said no one needs to be concerned about Iowa farmers' ability to feed the world this year.

"We're probably still pretty fortunate," Fee said. His goal with today's event was to demonstrate the quality of Iowa crops, despite the drought. 

Fee opened the event with a presentation, discussing the environmental measures he utilizes on his farm to protect the soil and the land. He conveyed his message through an interpreter. 

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