Corn has been good to farmers. Helping fuel a boom in the ag sector. And as this year’s record corn forecast indicates, Midwestern farmers can’t seem to plant enough of the grain. Even with concerns growing about the effectiveness of today’s high-tech genetically engineered seeds, farmers aren’t backing down.
Farmers intend to plant 96 million acres of corn this year, according to a new study by the National Agricultural Statistic Service, or NASS. That’s a 4 percent increase over last year, and the most land dedicated to corn since 1937. Here are the factors for this year's record amount of corn production.
Insect scientists say biotech corn is losing its ability to fend off a major insect pest known as the corn rootworm. The scientists say continued widespread use of genetically-modified corn will only make the problem worse.
Corn has been the engine behind the ethanol industry for years, and that food vs. fuel debate doesn't look to end anytime soon. But as researchers work to unlock the biofuels potential in crop residue and other biomass, a refinery is being built in Kansas may help take the industry to another level.