Wisconsin is one of the top corn-producing states in the nation. Farmers grow grain corn over approximately 3 million acres.
Don’t confuse grain corn for corn silage or sweet corn. They are all different, and so are their uses. Grain corn is used as feed for cows, pigs and poultry, as well as in the generation of ethanol, corn oil and corn starch and other non-food products. Corn silage is chopped and fermented before being fed directly to livestock. Sweet corn is what humans enjoy every summer from their local farmer or buy at the stores fresh, canned or frozen.
In 2017, Wisconsin corn growers harvested 510 million bushels on 2.93 million acres (equivalent to 174 bushels per acre). A bushel is 56 pounds. Growers received an average price of $3.25 per bushel, which is below what it costs many farmers to plant, grow and harvest the crop.
Wisconsin corn is mainly used for livestock feed, ethanol production, exports or food.
Sources: USDA NASS
Exports of corn and corn products added $735.4 million in value to the Wisconsin economy in 2015, according to an Informa Economics IEG study commissioned by the National Corn Growers Association.