Farmers harvested a corn crop of 13.6 billion bushels in 2015 – the third-largest ever, trailing only 2014’s record crop and 2013’s robust haul. When grain stocks and ethanol co-products are properly considered, more grain is available for food and feed today than ever before.
Feeding the World, Fueling a nation
Ethanol provides a vital value-added market for corn and other commodities, providing an economic boost to rural America. Demand created by ethanol production increases the price a farmer receives for grain.
FACT: Tremendous increases in the productivity of U.S. farmers have ensured ample supplies of grain are available for domestic and international use as food, feed and fuel. Because growers are getting more output per acre than ever before, less land is needed to satisfy demand for food, feed and fuel. One-third of every bushel of grain processed into ethanol is enhanced and returned to the animal feed market in the form of distillers grains, corn gluten feed or corn gluten meal. Click HERE for more information on ethanol co-products.
FACT: In 2015, America’s farmers were busy harvesting the third-largest corn crop ever of 13.6 billion bushels. Meanwhile, thanks to new seed technologies and more efficient equipment, corn growers are seeing dramatic gains in yield per acre, averaging 168.4 bushels per acre (bpa). By comparison, in the early 1990s, average yields were in the 100-120 bpa range, and total corn production averaged about 7.5 billion bushels per year.
FACT: Today, approximately 85% of the nation’s dry mill ethanol biorefinieries extract corn distillers oil during the production process, a product that is sold into the feed market or used to produce biodiesel.
FACT: Ethanol production does not reduce the amount of food available for human consumption. Farmers harvested a corn crop of 13.6 billion bushels in 2015 – the third-largeste ever. When grain stocks and ethanol co-products are properly considered, more grain is available for food and feed today than ever before. In fact, less than 3% of the growing global grain supply is expected to be used for U.S. ethanol production – a six-year low. Click here for more information on the food vs. fuel myth.
Importantly, ethanol is produced from field corn fed to livestock, not sweet corn fed to humans. A modern dry-mill ethanol refinery produces approximately 2.8 gallons of ethanol and 17 pounds of highly valuable feed co-products (distillers grains) from one bushel of corn. Importantly, ethanol production utilizes only the starch portion of the corn kernel, which is abundant and of low value. The remaining vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber are sold as high-value livestock feed. Click here for more information on ethanol co-products.
An increasing amount of ethanol is produced from nontraditional feedstocks such as waste products from the beverage, food and forestry industries. In the very near future we will also produce ethanol from agricultural residues such as rice straw, sugar cane bagasse and corn stover, municipal solid waste, and energy crops such as switchgrass. Click here for more information on advanced and cellulosic ethanol.