Official Nebraska Government Website

Sustaining Innovation

How will Nebraska corn farmers meet growing demand for food, feed and fuel—while protecting our natural resources?

The way they always have: Sustaining innovation.

Through responsible stewardship, new genetics and improved management practices, Nebraska corn farmers are growing more corn with less – less fertilizer, less chemicals, less water, less land and less of an impact on the environment.

Sustaining innovation – an unwavering commitment to doing a better job in every row, on every acre, on every farm, every season. It’s how family corn farmers in Nebraska and the nation are ensuring the long-term viability of their industry and our natural resources.

Nebraska’s corn farmers – and their fellow corn farmers across the U.S. – continue to make significant advancements that have a direct impact on the sustainability of corn production and the natural, environmental and social systems that are connected to it.

You might be surprised to learn that:

  • 96% of all corn farmers in America are family owned. (USDA)
  • America’s corn farmers are by far the most productive in the world, growing 20% more corn per acre than any other nation. (USDA)
  • Corn farmers cut erosion 44% in two decades thanks to new tillage methods. (USDA)
  • Thanks to new, innovative fertilization methods, today’s American corn farmers are producing 87% more corn per ounce of fertilizer. (USDA)
  • The energy used to grow a bushel of corn has fallen 37% over the past 30 years. (USDA)
  • Family farmers grow 90% of America’s corn crop. (USDA)
  • Corn was a bright spot in America’s economy last year – we exported $9 billion worth of corn! (USDA)
  • American farmers grow five times more corn than they did in the 1930s – on 20% less land! (USDA)
  • Farmers are using GPS-based precision technology to reduce overlaps in the field and to precisely place fertilizer and pesticides exactly where they need to be – and in exactly the right amounts.
  • Monitoring soil moisture levels and measuring the amount of water corn plants lose each day is helping Nebraska corn farmers significantly reduce irrigation and water demand.
  • While irrigation is used more widely in Nebraska, less than 14% of the total U.S. corn crop is supplemented with water via irrigation. The rest relies solely on rainfall. (USDA)
  • Only 1% of the corn grown in the U.S. is sweet corn for humans. The rest is field corn used for livestock feed and ethanol.

There is no question: Corn farmers can do what America and the world is asking of them: Grow more corn for feed, food, fiber and fuel – and do it in a way that protects the environment and provides economic benefits all along the value chain.

To learn more about how corn farmers are sustaining innovation – and growing more with less visit

Audio Files (click to listen!)

Farming is a family business

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Growing more with less

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Everything gets faster, better & smarter, including farming

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What if you were given something precious?

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How much corn are farmers growing? How do they do it?

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Do family farmers still exist?

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What about the environment?

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Corn removes 8 tons of greenhouse gases?

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