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Corn+Soybean Digest

Corn Fact Book Tells Stories of a Modern Ag Marvel

Those with an interest in knowing more about America’s family farmers and the positive contribution they make to the nation’s economy won’t want to miss the 2010 edition of the Corn Farmers Coalition’s “Corn Fact Book.”

The educational publication, funded by corn checkoff programs in 14 different states, has been widely distributed in Washington as a part of a large advertising campaign that has included, print, radio, online and large-scale outdoor messages. It is now available to the general public.

“This publication is full of interesting facts on the technology and innovation that allow us to grow corn for food, feed and fuel but it also tells the story of who grows corn today,” says Keith Hora, a Washington, IA, farmer featured in the book. “It also explains how farmers in the U.S. have become the most productive in the world, and the economic benefits farmers and the general public receive as a result of our efforts. It truly is an American success story.”

Among the facts chronicled: Seven of the largest corn crops in history have been produced in the last seven years, despite less-than-ideal weather and on virtually identical acreage. And 90% of all U.S. corn is still produced by family farmers. The “Corn Fact Book” highlights a few farmers and tells a bit of their story and how it benefits us all.

Every year, American consumers ask farmers for more food but give them less land on which to produce it. They want farmers to be more efficient and use less energy. Every year, farmers manage to succeed – with less than 2% of the population feeding the rest of the country – and managing to export a fair bit, as well.

“We’re more efficient that ever,” says Jon Holzfaster, a Paxton, NE, grower also featured in the book. “We’re using less fuel and traveling across the land fewer times. We have better genetics to help us optimize yields from existing acres and our use of chemicals has decreased dramatically. In this respect, the good old days are actually happening right now.”

And the facts show that the efforts by family farmers to improve their environmental footprint are paying off. Thirty-seven percent less land is needed to produce a bushel of corn; soil erosion is down 69% and emissions produced in growing and harvesting a bushel of corn has dropped 30%.

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