Trouble could be afoot for Nebraska corn exports to Mexico. On December 31, Mexico published a decree requiring the phase-out of the use of glyphosate and genetically modified (GMO) corn for human consumption. GMO corn is to be phased out no later than January 31, 2024.

The Mexican government has not provided expected timelines or implementation details for the decree. Mexico is the largest buyer of Nebraska corn generally accounting for 28-40 percent of Nebraska corn exports. Table 1 shows Nebraska corn exports to Mexico since 2015. Nebraska’s geographic location, it’s the western-most major corn producing state and located in the middle of the country, and its accessibility to rail transportation into Mexico provides the state an advantage into the Mexican market.

Table 1. Nebraska Corn Exports to Mexico

Nebraska Corn Exports to Mexico

Source:  NEFB, based on U.S. Census Bureau data

It’s unclear how the Mexican decree might impact Nebraska corn exports. Nearly all the corn produced in Nebraska contains GMO traits. However, the GMO ban applies to corn for human consumption. Most of Nebraska corn exported to Mexico is used in livestock feed. If the ban were to be interpreted by the Mexican government to include corn used in livestock feed, it would be extremely detrimental to Nebraska corn exports. So far, the Mexican government has not clarified the intent of the decree. For the sake of Nebraska’s corn producers, hopefully the U.S. can work with Mexico to assure the decree does not affect our country’s exports of GMO corn intended for livestock feed.