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Corn: Zea Mays, family poaceae, commonly known as Maize.

CornCorn, a major source of food for both humans and animals, is grown in more countries than any other crop. The versatile plant can thrive in climates as diverse as the arid desert plains of the southwestern United States and the high Andean mountain plains of Ecuador and Peru. The temperate plains of the United States provides some of the best growing conditions for corn in the world, making the United States the world's top corn producer.

The majority of corn grown in the United States is "dent" corn, so-called because the kernel typically forms a dent on the cap or crown at maturity. Dent corn is used for everything from livestock feed to corn syrup and sweeteners to ethanol and industrial products. Other major classifications of corn include: sweet corn, which is grown almost exclusively for human consumption; and value-enhanced corn, grown to provide specific traits or characteristics such as higher oil, starch or nutrition content.

World Corn Production and Trade

Corn is the largest U.S. crop, in terms of both volume and value. The states of Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Minnesota account for more than 50 percent of U.S. corn production. Other major corn-producing states include Indiana, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas, Ohio and Kentucky.

The United States grew 39 percent of the world's corn in during fiscal year 2010, producing 331 million metric tons (12.1 billion bushels). Other major corn producing countries in 2009/2010 included:

  • China -158 million metric tons (6.2 billion bushels)
  • European Union - 57.1 million metric tons (2.25 billion bushels)
  • Brazil- 56.1 million metric tons (2.2 billion bushels)
  • Argentina - 22.5 million metric tons (886 million bushels)
  • Mexico - 20.3 million metric tons (799 million bushels)
  • India - 16.7 million metric tons (657 million bushels)


World Corn Production:




World Corn Exports:
Top U.S. Corn Customers:

corn customers3


Japan is the largest and most consistent importer of corn in the world. The United States satisfies nearly all of Japan's demand. During fiscal year 2010, Japan imported 14.3 million metric tons (563 billion bushels) of U.S. corn.

Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Egypt, Colombia and China are also major corn importers and important markets for the United States.


World Corn Exports:


The United States is not only the world's top corn producer, but also the top exporter. On average, about 20 percent of U.S. corn is exported. During fiscal year 2010 (October-September), the United States exported 49.9 million metric tons (1.96 billion bushels) - accounting for 53.8 percent of world corn exports. During the same period, other major corn exporters included Argentina (16.7 million metric tons, or 660 million bushels) and Brazil (8.6 million metric tons, or 338 million bushels).



Corn Usage

Although used primarily to feed livestock, corn is a versatile grain with a wealth of uses. It is also processed into a multitude of food and industrial products, including starches, sweeteners, corn oil, beverage and industrial alcohol, and fuel ethanol. Thousands of foods and other everyday items - from toothpaste and cosmetics to adhesives and shoe polish - contain corn components.

Corn Utilization:

us utilization

Corn products are rapidly replacing petroleum in many industrial applications. Polylactide (PLA), a biodegradable polymer made from corn, is used in the manufacturing of a wide variety of everyday items such as clothing, packaging, carpeting, recreational equipment and food utensils. Because these products are biodegradable and made from a renewable resource, they offer tremendous environmental benefits.

For further information contact:


National Corn Growers Association
632 Cepi Drive
Chesterfield, MO 63005 U.S.A.
Phone: (636) 733-9004
Fax: (636) 733-9005
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Corn Refiners Association, Inc.
1701 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. Suite 950
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 331-1634
Fax (202) 331-2054
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Renewable Fuels Association
One Massachusettes Ave. NW
Suite 820
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 289-3835
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

20 F Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20001      Phone: 202-789-0789      Fax: 202-898-0522

The U.S. Grains Council is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to building export markets for barley, corn, sorghum and their products. The Council is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 10 international offices and active market development programs in more than 50 countries. Financial support from the Council’s private industry members, including state checkoffs, agribusinesses, state entities and others, triggers federal matching funds from the government and support from cooperating groups in other countries, producing an annual market development program valued at more than $28.3 million.

The U.S. Grains Council does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation or marital/family status. Persons with disabilities, who require alternative means for communication of program information, should contact the U.S. Grains Council. The U.S. Grains Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer. For more information on Section 508, please go to the following website: