Farms that primarily grew soybeans in 2006 were the main source of new corn acres
Between 2000 and 2009, U.S. ethanol production increased from 1.6 billion gallons to 10.8 billion gallons, almost all of which was produced from corn. Using a recent survey of 2008 corn producers' planting decisions in 2006 and 2008, ERS researchers determined the source of the additional corn acreage needed during the most rapid expansion in ethanol production. Farms that had more than 50 percent of their planted acreage in corn in 2006 were classified as corn farms. Other farms were classified based on the dominant noncorn crop grown in 2006. Based on this classification, farms that primarily grew soybeans in 2006 were the main source of new corn acres. However, there was not a net decrease in soybean acres. Reductions in acreage of other crops, as well as an expansion in harvested acres, have been important sources for the simultaneous expansion of corn and soybean production. This chart is from the September 2011 edition of Amber Waves magazine.
Download larger size chart (500 pixels by 193, 96 dpi)