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Corn fuels Iowa’s economy

By Staff | Jan 28, 2011

Corn production has been a key factor in the Iowa economy for more than 150 years.

The state’s 21st-century economy is characterized by increasing diversity. Agriculture isn’t as dominant as once was the case. Even so, there can be little doubt that corn remains of critical importance. The renewable fuels industries have increased demand for corn as a critical ingredient in manufacturing ethanol. Ethanol production has not only increased demand for corn, but also strengthens corn’s already enormous importance to Iowa’s prosperity.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, corn production nationally in 2010 was 12.4 billion bushels. That was down 5 percent from the record high of 13.1 billion bushels in 2009, which narrowly surpassed the previous record set in 2007.

Iowa continues to top the nation in corn production even though weather-related difficulties made 2010 a challenging year for farmers. Iowa’s corn yield for 2010 was an estimated by the USDA to be 2.15 billion bushels – down 11 percent from 2009.

Corn has been king in Iowa for generations. It seems likely to remain so well into the 21st century. Included with this issue of Farm News is Corn Edition 2011. It documents corn’s importance to the prosperity of the Hawkeye State.

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