See Also: Corn Trivia & Facts;   Article on Corn;

History of Corn;   Kitchen Tips;   Quotes

 Production & Consumption

U. S. Corn per capita usage
(These figures are only for corn consumed directly. 75% of all grocery items contain corn is some form, and would bring per capita consumption to about 160 lbs)








27.9 lbs

25.9 lbs

26.3 lbs

27.1 lbs

24 lbs


7.8 lbs

6.5 lbs

6.7 lbs

9 lbs

8.7 lbs


14.3 lbs

13 lbs

11 lbs

9 lbs

5.8 lbs


5.8 lbs

6.4 lbs

8.6 lbs

9.1 lbs

9.5 lbs

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Mexico's per capita corn consumption is almost 400 pounds, while in the United States it is about 160 pounds and in India only about 15 pounds. (See note in table at top and explanations below).

Sweet Corn: Top 5 Producing Countries       (USDA)




World Total

19.62 billion lbs

19.63 lbs

United States

9.57 billion lbs

8.28 billion lbs


760 million lbs

1.45 billion lbs


1.27 billion lbs

1.55 billion lbs


810 million lbs

900 million lbs

South Africa

660 million lbs

880 million lbs

The United States is, by far, the largest producer of corn in the world.  Corn is grown on over 400,000 U.S. farms.  In 2000, the U.S. produced almost ten billion bushels of the world’s total 23 billion bushel crop.  Corn grown for grain accounts for almost one quarter of the harvested crop acres in this country.  Corn grown for silage accounts for about two percent of the total harvested cropland or about 6 million acres.  The amount of land dedicated to corn silage production varies based on growing conditions.  In years that produce weather unfavorable to high corn grain yields, corn can be “salvaged” by harvesting the entire plant as silage.

     According to the National Corn Growers Association, about 80% of all corn grown in the U.S. is consumed by domestic and overseas livestock, poultry, and fish production.  The crop is fed as ground grain, silage, high-moisture, and high-oil corn.  About 12% of the U.S. corn crop ends up in foods that are either consumed directly (e.g. corn chips) or indirectly (e.g. high fructose corn syrup).  It also has a wide array of industrial uses including ethanol, a popular oxygenate in cleaner burning auto fuels.

In 2009 according to the USDA, 233,550 acres of Sweet Corn were harvested for the fresh market.  An additional 379,500 acres were harvested for processing: 181,300 acres for canning and 198,200 acres for freezing.

Florida, California, Georgia, Washington and New York together accounted for 66 percent of the fresh market sweet corn produced nationally in 2009.

According to the USDA (U.S. Dept of Agriculture) corn yields in the U.S. increased from about 74 bushels per acre in 1965 to about 134 bushels per acre in 1998 and in 2008 was about 154 bushels per acre.

According to the Agricultural Council of America, U.S. Farmers account for 41 percent of the world’s corn production.  (2007)

World Corn (for grain) production for 2005 was 686 million metric tons. U.S. production for 2005 was 282 million metric tons.

In 2005, 52% of the U.S. corn acreage was planted with Genetically Modified Seed.

China Produces about 19% of the world's corn crop, about 4 1/2 billion bushels. (2004)

In 2002 about 9 billion bushels of corn were produced in the U.S., and the largest producing states were Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Indiana.


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