The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our 2019 Annual Report

Why does America grow 90 million acres of corn every year?

| | October 3, 2018
gm crops gmo maize creditciat flickr
Image Credit: CIAT/Flickr
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The U.S. is the No. 1 producer of corn in the world. Planted on over 90 million acres, it is valued at a $47.46 billion industry ….

But why?

We have the perfect growing conditions for it — the right soil type, rainfall, temperature, etc. It could be similar to growing coffee in Colombia for example. They’re they leaders of coffee production, so it’s everywhere.

The shelf life [of corn] is long, and the product is inexpensive. Should we wish to feed the masses affordably …. corn plays a huge role. Want to help the hungry by donating non-perishable food items? Thank the almighty corn crop.

When you think of field corn, you may think of processed food like high fructose corn syrup, although only about 12 percent of field corn ends up in the “junk food” market ….

Related article:  We don't grow enough vegetables to feed everyone a healthy diet, study claims

So besides human nutrition …. a vast majority of field corn goes to ethanol and livestock feed. Ethanol sometimes gets a bad rap from critics, but …. we actually get very useful products like pet food, dry ice, road salt, livestock feed, and most importantly alcohol! …. corn is made of different components — starch, protein, fiber, oil. All of these components play a different role in products we use everyday.

Read full, original article: Why do we grow so much corn?

News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend