How the U.S. became a global corn superpower (CNBC)
- Impact Area
According to the USDA, the U.S. is the largest consumer, producer, and exporter of corn in the world. CNBC examined what that means for crop production, agricultural subsidies, and corn’s uses including food, fuel, medications, and textiles. Joseph Glauber, a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute and former USDA chief economist, told CNBC in an interview, “Overall, corn production has increased. The U.S. was the major exporter of wheat for many, many years. Wheat production has fallen off, largely because corn and soybeans are far more profitable for farmers.”
At $2.2 billion in 2019, corn is the most heavily subsidized of all crops in the country. Glauber explained, “A lot of these subsidies … do get embedded into the cost of farmland and they essentially bid up the price of farmland marginally. The benefits accrue largely to those who own land.” The federal crop insurance program’s net spending is forecast to increase to nearly $40 billion from 2021 through 2025, according to the Congressional Budget Office.