Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
IOWA— According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Iowa is the leading producer of corn for the country. In the USDA’s National Agriculture Statistic Service projections of October 2022, they projected Iowa’s corn production would come to 2.49 billion bushels or the year.
A bushel is 56 pounds, which means Iowa produces nearly 140 billion pounds a year.
According to the Iowa Corn Producers, Iowa more corn than most countries. Iowa corn growers produce approximately three times more corn than Mexico. This is impressive considering the corn plant seems to have originate from Mexico.
Iowa exports a large portion of this corn to Mexico. According to Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office, those exports equate to 16 million tons each year.
This produces a hiccup for Iowa corn growers, however, due to Mexico’s plans to end genetically modified corn imports by January 2024.
This past October Mexico’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Victor Suarez restated Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s announcement phasing out genetically modified corn.
“Any interruption to [corn export] shipments will severely affect our farmers and the state’s economy, and have dire economic consequences for the entire Corn Belt,” Grassley wrote to an ambassador for Mexico. “President Obrador’s decree is not only a non-starter for America’s farmers, but it is also impossible to implement…”
While much of Iowan corn growers export a large portion of their crop to Mexico and other countries, the harvest has many uses within the United States, as well.
Sweet corn, which consumers purchase at farmer’s markets, roadside stands, and local grocery stores, makes up less than one percent of all the corn Iowa grows.
The Iowa Corn Growers assert that a majority of the corn produced in Iowa is field corn, which makes fuel, feed, and food among many other things.
According to Iowa Corn Growers, “Most of Iowa's corn goes into animal feed and ethanol production, but it’s also used to make starches, sweeteners and over 4,000 everyday products.”
These products include 57 percent of the corn grown in Iowa going to create almost 27 percent of all American ethanol and 42 percent goes directly to livestock feed.
While nearly 4,000 products on an average grocery store’s shelves list corn as an ingredient, even more food options are made available through the use of corn to feed livestock.
According to Iowa Corn Growers, one bushel of corn converts to approximately eight pounds of beef, 15.6 pounds of pork, or 21.6 pounds of chicken.