Wisconsin corn at a glance
About 70% of the corn grown in Wisconsin stays on family farms and is used to feed dairy cattle, beef cattle, pigs, chicken and other livestock.
Sweet corn vs. field corn fun facts
- Less than 1% of all corn grown across the U.S. is sweet corn!
- Most Wisconsin farmers grow field corn or yellow dented corn that is dried and harvested each fall.
- During the busy harvest season farm families sometimes work around the clock combining corn. Today’s farm machinery includes GPS, WI-FI, and other modern conveniences.
Family farmers and homegrown corn
Wisconsin is home to about 15,000 corn farmers, each supporting local towns and communities as well as providing food, fuel, and everyday products for their neighbors.
94% of all farms in Wisconsin remain family-owned and operated. Some farms are larger today to support multiple generations of families working together.
Dane County grew the most corn in 2021 with 1+M tons. Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Dodge and Brown Counties rounded out the top 5 corn-growing counties in the state.
Corn is a sustainable solution
Climate-smart corn farming
Tilling the soil less, adding cover crops and adding plant diversity all improve the health of our soils. Regenerative farm practices like these helped farmers reduce soil erosion by 67% in the last 30+ years.
Compared to previous generations, farmers today use 50% less fertilizer on fields because science and technology allow them to precisely place the right amount of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus in the exact location needed for the corn plants to thrive.
Growing crops take greenhouse gases like CO2 from the air and store it in our soils, making a net positive impact to our climate. Farmers have also reduced energy use overall by 40+% in recent decades due to technology and energy efficient equipment.
Cleaner-burning ethanol made from corn reduces air pollution that causes climate change by nearly 50% and improves human health, while products like corn bioplastic can provide a 100% renewable solution to single-use plastics.