With the productivity of U.S. agriculture growing faster than domestic demand, U.S. farmers and agricultural firms rely heavily on export markets to sustain prices and revenues. And while most of the corn produced in Nebraska stays in the state to be processed through livestock or ethanol plants, exports are still a critical factor in the economic success of Nebraska’s corn farmers.
“At the end of the day, a bushel of corn that leaves the U.S. for a foreign marketplace is a bushel of corn that adds value to the corn we grow and process right here in Nebraska,” said David Merrell, a St. Edward, Nebraska, farmer and chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board. “About 1 in 3 bushels of U.S. corn is exported in some form. Without exports, that corn would stay here in the U.S., creating a huge surplus and depressing prices all across the country, including here in Nebraska.