According to reports released by the USDA this month and data supplied by PRX, domestic and international livestock continues to be the No. 1 use for U.S. corn, totaling approximately 7.7 billion bushels per year. An estimated 1.5 billion bushels of corn, or 80 percent of projected U.S. corn exports, was used for feed overseas in the past year. Additionally, U.S. livestock consume totals 6.2 billion bushels, 5.0 billion in whole corn and an additional 1.2 billion bushels of corn displaced by ethanol coproducts.
“While media attention has focused more on ethanol production recently, the livestock industry continues to purchase more corn than any other sector year after year,” said National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott. “Livestock and poultry continue to be a valuable market for corn farmers and one which we continue to provide with an ample supply of corn and corn coproducts.”
When discussing corn usage by livestock it is completely inaccurate to disregard the critical role played by distillers grains and other ethanol coproducts in livestock feed blends, or the use of exported corn as feed. Distillers grains are an ethanol coproduct with the proper protein profile for use in feed for a variety of animals. In not citing that this product was subsequently used for feed, many figures skew the total perspective on usage for food, feed and fuel.
“Corn farmers, many of whom also are livestock producers, realize the importance of the livestock and poultry feed markets to our industry,” said Schott. “Through new technology, improved practices and our increased ability to utilize corn in many ways, we are meeting all needs for feed, food and fuel even as demand continues to grow for all uses.”