ICGA Grain Tour

U.S. Corn Exports Impact Farmers’ Bottom Lines

With around 95% of the global population living outside the U.S., the importance of agricultural exports to American farmers and the U.S. economy cannot be understated. Agricultural exports support nearly one million American jobs, and 31% of farm income is attained directly from exports. In fact, one out of every three acres of corn planted in the U.S. will be shipped out of the country in some form.

Given the importance of exports to our state, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) invests in partner organizations to have boots on the ground in major export markets. The ultimate goal: Build more interest and increase the consumption of corn in all forms around the world.

Top Export Markets

From grains to value-added products like pork and beef, the U.S. is the world leader in corn exports, with Iowa leading the charge as the top-producing state of corn, dried distillers grains (DDG), ethanol, pork, eggs and other products. Value-added products such as ethanol and meat make up the largest share of U.S. agricultural exports at approximately 63%.

South Korea, Japan and China/Hong Kong


China/Hong Kong, Japan and Mexico


Mexico, China and Japan


Canada, South Korea and European Union


Mexico, Vietnam and South Korea


U.S. Grains Council

ICPB’s investment in the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has helped increase demand for U.S. corn and co-products around the world, therefore increasing Iowa corn farmer profitability. The USGC works to develop export markets for U.S.-grown corn, barley, grain sorghum, and related products like ethanol and dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS). By acting as a bridge between U.S. suppliers and international customers, USGC increases exposure and builds demand for U.S. and Iowa-grown crops.

Together, Iowa Corn and USGC promote U.S. feed grains around the clock in more than 50 countries with 28 locations.

U.S. Meat Export Federation

The best way we can support the Iowa livestock industry is by building demand and removing barriers. That is why ICPB invests in the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) to create new opportunities and further develop existing international markets for U.S. corn-fed red meat. USMEF represents beef/veal, pork, and lamb producers and feeders; packers and processors; traders, oilseeds and feed grains producers; farm organizations; and supply and service organizations to put U.S. meat on the world’s table.

Each dollar invested in USMEF’s export programs generates median net returns of $3.87 and $7.42 for the beef and pork industries, respectively. Iowa corn farmers host international trade teams visiting the state to learn more about corn and meat produced here. Important trade relationships are built when customers can see firsthand how we grow corn sustainably and produce livestock that will end up on their plates.

Buy Corn

Looking to buy corn or corn products? Connect with an Iowa-based or U.S.-based grain seller through the resources below.