You’ve probably heard that today is Earth Day. There are many stories flying around the news touting the environmental performance or lack thereof of many things. But here at IL Corn, we know that every day is Earth Day for corn farmers. You’ve made huge strides in protecting the environment and make choices every day that benefit not just you and your family, but your community, as well. Here are some quick facts on the sustainability of corn farming that you might want to print out and keep in your back pocket when the next conversation about environmental awareness or sustainability comes us.
These facts come from two primary sources, the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service and from the Field to Market National Report. Image credit goes to Illinois Farm Families www.watchusgrow.org.
• America’s sustainability-minded family corn farmers have planted 1.2 million miles of conservation buffer strips to protect the soil and improve water quality. (Conservation Technology Information Center, Purdue University)
• America's corn farmers have reduced soil erosion 67% by using innovative conservation methods (Field to Market)
• Energy used to grow a bushel of corn decreased 43% thanks to family farmers' use of innovative technology (Field to Market)
• Using cutting edge technological advances in farming, the land required to grow a bushel of corn has decreased by 30%. (Field to Market)
• Corn farmers have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 36% thanks to new technological advances in farming practices (Field to Market)
• Farmers grow 87% more corn per ounce of fertilizer thanks to innovative farming practices (USDA)
• Due to technological know-how, America's corn farmers are the most productive in the world, growing 15% more corn per acre than any other nation, world-wide. (USDA)
Field to Market
Field To Market is a diverse alliance working to create opportunities across the agricultural supply chain for continuous improvements in productivity, environmental quality, and human well-being. The group provides collaborative leadership that is engaged in industry-wide dialogue, grounded in science, and open to the full range of technology choices. Their numbers are generated using data from USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, National Resources Conservation Service and major universities.
Their information is peer reviewed by multiple sources to validate the science. You can learn more about the exciting advance in corn production here.
Peer Reviewers of the report included:
• Kenneth Cassman - University of Nebraska, Lincoln
• Marlin Eve - USDA Climate Change Program Office
• Alan Franzluebbers - USDA, Agricultural Research Service
• Ralph Heimlich - Agricultural Conservation Economics (ACE)
• Douglas Karlen - USDA, Agricultural Research Service
• Chad Lee - University of Kentucky
• John McGuire - Simplified Technology Services, LLC.
• Randall Mutters - University of California
• Barry Ward - Ohio State University