The United States is the world's top corn producing country. In 2016, the country produced 15.1 billion bushels of corn. According to the US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the production of corn in 2016 was an all time record and signified an 11% increase compared to the 13.1 billion bushels produced in 2015. The area under corn also rose by 7% to 86.7 million acres while the production of corn per acre rose by 6.2 bushels to 174.6 bushels. Corn is grown in several of the 50 states in the US but the states of Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana, South Dakota, and Kansas produce 66% of the national production, the top four states all produce more than I billion bushels of corn each. A bushel is an imperial unit used to measure dry capacity and is mostly used in determining the quantities of agricultural products such as wheat and corn. One bushel is approximately 8 gallons or 4 pecks, or 36.36872 liters.
The Corn Belt Of Midwestern United States
The state of Iowa has been the top corn producing state in the US for the past 23 consecutive years and 38 of the last 39 years. In 2016 the state produced 2.74 billion bushels, three times the amount produced by Mexico. The production signified a 9.1% increase from the 2.51billion bushels produced in 2015 and 18% of the corn produced in the country. The year also witnessed an all-time high state record of 203 bushels per acre, the first time the production surpassed the 200/acre mark. Suitable weather, soil, corn variety, and the farmers' attitude towards corn are the major reasons why the state dominates corn production.
Illinois ranked second after producing 2.26 billion bushels of corn in 2016 which represented 14.89% of the overall corn production. The average production per acre stood at 202 bushels piping the 201 record set in the previous year. Approximately 13 million acres of land is under corn production a majority being field corn with the average acre per farmer being 358 acres.
The state of Nebraska accounted for 1.7 billion bushels of corn in 2016 representing 11.2% of the total corn production and a slight increase from the production in 2015. The production per acre declined by 7 bushels to 178 bushels but the area under corn increased by four percent to 9.55 million acres. Apart from corn, Nebraska is also a top producer of beef, soybean, and wheat.
Minnesota produced 1.55 billion bushels of maize in 2016 representing 10.2% of the overall corn produced and valued at $5,059,543,500. However, the state was the largest producer of sweet corn and accounted for a third of the sweet corn processed in the country. Approximately 107,000 acres of sweet corn were planted in the state representing two percent of the total acreage under corn. Four percent was made available to the market as fresh corn while the remaining 96% was processed. Availability of land, good climate, soil, and farmers attitude towards corn are some of the reason why the state is among the top producers of corn
Uses Of Corn In The United States
Despite being a stable food in several countries, especially in Sub Saharan Africa, thirty three percent of corn is used to produce animal feed in the US. 3.56 billion bushels are used to produce ethanol while 1.45 billion bushels are exported mainly to Mexico. The rest of the maize is processed and consumed within the US.