Iowa is the nation's No. 1 producer of corn and the state's corn industry is making a difference throughout the state and around the world. Throughout September, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and the Iowa Corn Grower's Association are reminding consumers about the economic importance of Iowa corn and the many products that use corn.
During Corn Month, the ICGA and ICPB salute the state's corn industry and work to help all Iowans understand the importance of corn to their state and their lives.
The first article (see below) explains how Iowa growers are increasing corn acres to meet the greater demands of the ethanol industry. We also explain how higher corn prices are NOT effecting food prices throughout the nation.
Other Corn Month news releases you will read during the next two weeks on this site will discuss:
- Corn exports to world markets
- The environmental aspects of growing more corn acres
- The importance of the livestock industry to corn growers.
A Good Iowa Corn Harvest Is Great News Around The World
A plentiful corn crop flowing from Iowa's fields is good news for corn growers and the Iowa economy – and for customers and consumers in 52 nations around the world.
In addition to supplying food, feed and fuel for Americans, a significant amount of U.S. corn – almost one out of every five bushels in the 2007 market year – went to overseas markets, according to USDA. Iowa provided a large share of corn exports: An estimated 875 million bushels left the state, much of it destined for international markets.
Total U.S. corn exports for 2006-07 were well above 2.1 billion bushels, and there are signs that export demand will be strong again in this new 2007-08 marketing year which began September 1, 2007.
Already, foreign customers have booked more than half a billion bushels of corn purchases
That's a 9% increase from the same time last year and 150% above 2005 levels.
USDA's latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) projects U.S. exports of 2.15 billion bushels in the 2007 market year.
"We know that it takes strong demand in all three usage areas – livestock feeding, processing and exports – to keep up with our ability to produce corn," says Vic Miller, a former Iowa Corn Promotion Board director and immediate past chairman of the U.S. Grains Council. "This year strong exports have contributed to the good corn prices we've seen, and the growth in pork exports is definitely helping Iowa's hog producers. We're seeing our checkoff investment in export development pay off every time we sell corn."
So who is using all that corn?
Sales to Asia slacked off about 10% in the 2006-07 marketing year, while shipments within the western hemisphere posted a 22% increase. Mexico, already the number two market for U.S. corn, set a new record for corn imports with purchases of more than 350 million bushels, a 36% increase.
Colombia, the sixth largest U.S. corn customer, bought more than 130 million bushel, a 22% increase in purchases and another record high level of sales. The Caribbean and Central America, once a minor factor in U.S. exports, took a combined 200 million bushels of corn. Exports of U.S. corn to Central America have increased 28% in the last five years, and shipments to the Caribbean have grown by 31%.
Still to be tallied are the growing exports of distillers dried grains, a feed co-product from the U.S. ethanol industry. However, shipments for the first six months of 2007 included 47,000 metric tons to South Korea, 49,000 metric tons to Japan, 85,000 metric tons to Taiwan and over 334,000 metric tons to Mexico.
As combines hit the fields this fall, it's clear that Iowa's corn growers are again meeting the needs of export customers just as they meet the needs of all their customers. For more information on how Iowa supplies corn for food and fuel, call Iowa Corn at 515-225-9242 or go to www.iowacorn.org.
Each year ICPB and ICGA encourage all Iowans to recognize the contributions of Iowa's corn producers by celebrating September as Corn Month. ICPB works to develop and defend markets, fund research, and provide education about corn and corn products. ICGA is a membership organization, lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its 6,000 members.