Corn is far and away the most subsidized agricultural product in America.
In 2020, corn growers received at least $9 billion in taxpayer supports through bailouts, commodity protection programs, disaster relief, conservation programs, subsidized crop insurance, and trade disruption compensation payments.
Subsidy Breakdown by the Numbers
$9 billion+ in taxpayer corn subsidies & bailouts
- CFAP 1: $1,777,820,000 1
- CFAP 2: $3,362,000,000 (as of Dec 31, 2020) 2
- ARC/PLC: $1,481,000,0003
- Market Facilitation Payments: In 2020, $3.7 billion in MFP payments were made to American Farmers.4 We estimate that $200 million to $1 billion went to corn growers.5
- Crop Insurance: $2,119,000,0006
- Conservation Programs: Unclear.
- Disaster Relief: Unclear.
Nearly Half of Corn is Fed to Livestock
According to the USDA,
Nearly half (48.7%) of the corn grown in 2013 was used as animal feed.
Only a small portion of the corn crop was used for high-fructose corn syrup, sweeteners, and cereal, at 3.8%, 2.1%, and 1.6%, respectively.USDA Corn Coexistence Factsheet7
According to the Department of Energy, in 2019, 39% of corn was produced for ethanol.8 Based on these datapoints, AFA estimates that 46% of 2020 corn subsidies can be attributed to animal feed.
How much Corn is Fed to Each Species
- fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/arc-plc/2019/pdf/2019_arc_plc_payments.pdf pro-rated for 2020 based on Annual top line program amounts (data.ers.usda.gov/reports.aspx?ID=17833)
- USDA reports $3.2 billion of MFP payments went to ‘non-specialty crop producers’. Corn is in this category. For reference, here is the 2019 reporting : https://www.farmers.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/FarmersGov-Manage_Market-Facilitation-Program-Data12-21.pdf
- www3.rma.usda.gov/apps/sob/current_week/crop2020.pdf p.5