Nebraska Corn Farmers: Sustaining Innovation

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Family farmers grow more on less land

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How will Nebraska corn farmers meet growing demand for food, feed and fuel—while protecting our natural resources?

The way they always have: Sustaining innovation.

Through responsible stewardship, new genetics and improved management practices, Nebraska corn farmers are growing more corn with less—less fertilizer, less chemicals, less water, less land and less of an impact on the environment.

Sustaining innovation—an unwavering commitment to doing a better job in every row, on every acre, on every farm, every season. It’s how family corn farmers in Nebraska and the nation are ensuring the long-term viability of their industry and our natural resources.

Nebraska’s corn farmers—and their fellow corn farmers across the U.S.—continue to make significant advancements that have a direct impact on the sustainability of corn production and the natural, environmental and social systems that are connected to it.

You might be surprised to learn that:

  • 95% of all corn farmers in America are family owned. (USDA)
  • American farmers grow five times more corn than they did in the 1930s—on 20% less land! (USDA)
  • America’s corn farmers are by far the most productive in the world, growing 20% more corn per acre than any other nation. (USDA)
  • Corn farmers cut erosion 44% in two decades thanks to new tillage methods. (USDA)
  • Thanks to new, innovative fertilization methods, today’s American corn farmers are producing 70% more corn per ounce of fertilizer. (USDA)
  • Corn was a bright spot in America’s economy last year—we exported $9 billion worth of corn! (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
  • Farmers are using GPS-based precision technology to reduce overlaps in the field and to precisely place fertilizer and pesticides exactly where they need to be—and in exactly the right amounts.
  • Monitoring soil moisture levels and measuring the amount of water corn plants lose each day is helping Nebraska corn farmers significantly reduce irrigation and water demand.
  • Family farmers grow 90% of America’s corn crop. (USDA)
  • America produces enough corn that we export one in every five rows of corn each year. (USDA)
  • While irrigation is used more widely in Nebraska, less than 14% of the total U.S. corn crop is irrigated. The rest relies solely on rainfall. (USDA)
  • Only1% of the corn grown in the U.S. is sweet corn for humans. The rest is field corn used for livestock feed and ethanol.

There is no question: Corn farmers can do what America and the world is asking of them: Grow more corn for feed, food, fiber and fuel—and do it in a way that protects the environment and provides economic benefits all along the value chain.

To learn more about how corn farmers are sustaining innovation—and growing more with less—visit the website at

Or call the Nebraska Corn Board at 402.471.CORN (402.471.2676).

For information on corn farmer sustainability, check out this video from NCGA.

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