- Associated Press - Sunday, September 17, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Department of Agriculture is poised to host more than 20 international buyers from six countries in an effort to increase export sales for the state grain industry.

The state agency says the Illinois Grain Tour starts Monday. Participants will tour the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center in Edwardsville, have lunch at a farm, visit ADM in Decatur and see an ethanol plant in Hennepin. Those on the tour also will visit with members of the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn Growers Association and Illinois Corn Marketing Board.

Illinois Agriculture Director Raymond Poe says the tour gives the state the opportunity to showcase its facilities to foreign investors. The agency says nearly half of the corn and soybeans grown in Illinois are exported.

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