Agricultural trade matters to Nebraska’s farmers

More than 95% of the world’s population lives outside the United States. The greatest potential for growth and profitability for Nebraska farmers and ranchers lies in global markets – and that means international agricultural trade is critically important.

The U.S. is the world’s largest supplier of corn, commanding some 30% of the global market. Exports of ethanol have also grown dramatically. In 2017, the U.S. held a 65% share of the global ethanol export market.

Additionally, 13% of U.S. beef is exported – and 24% of U.S. pork finds its way to international markets. The U.S. also exports corn co-products such as distillers grains and corn gluten feed.

International trade drives demand – and demand drives price. That’s why trade is important to the bottom line for Nebraska corn producers.

What Do We Export?

When you think of exports, you may think only about what we send outside the United States, but most of Nebraska’s exports stay within the borders of the U.S. Nebraska corn is in high demand at beef and dairy operations in California, Colorado, the Pacific Northwest and Texas. Nebraska ethanol is also exported to California and other domestic markets.

Nebraska is the largest corn and ethanol producer west of the Missouri River, so we are in a perfect position to serve these markets thanks to our abundant production and competitive transportation costs.

As a result, much of the corn, distillers grains and ethanol we produce in Nebraska is used right here in the United States. But international exports of these products help increase demand and drives prices both domestically and worldwide – and that improves profitability for farmers, livestock producers and ethanol producers in Nebraska.

Corn being dumped into a grain trailer

U.S. Grains Council (USGC)

The Nebraska Corn Board provides financial support to the U.S. Grains Council (USGC). The Council has a network of offices and representatives around the world – promoting international trade for corn, corn co-products, ethanol, and distillers grains.

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF)

The Nebraska Corn Board is a member of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), which increases the value and profit opportunities for the U.S. beef, pork, and lamb industries by enhancing demand in export markets through a coordinated and collaborative partnership of all stakeholders. “Simply put, USMEF is ‘putting’ U.S. meat on the world’s table.” Through its support of USMEF, the Nebraska Corn Board helps build demand for Nebraska beef and pork—and the corn and distillers grains used to feed those animals. Every pound of beef exported represents 3.46 pounds of corn and 1.42 pounds of distillers grains fed to that animal. And every pound of pork exported represents more than 40 pounds of corn and .24 pounds of distillers grains used as feed.