When the National Corn Growers Association responded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard, it used key information from Ross Korves of the ProExporter Network. The goal was to address EPA's very conservative estimates of future corn yield at a time when yields are significantly increasing. NCGA says such a low estimate of yields was a major driver in incorrect assumptions by the EPA about international indirect land use change.
Korves points to the yields seen in NCGA's annual National Corn Yield Contest. Most recent winners in the non-irrigated categories had yields of 250-300 bushels per acre. And in the irrigated categories winners had yields of 300-360 bushels per acres. Korves points out that soil capabilities and rainfall patterns are available to support much higher yields than the average yields of today. Also technology is now being developed to achieve those higher yields on a more consistent and wide-spread basis.
With increased yields, U.S. corn growers continue to meet domestic and export needs, leaving no need for land use change. He also stresses the importance of carrying these higher yields and agronomic successes to other countries. Korves says the U.S. has yields that are roughly twice the world average. Some of that is due to good soils, a favorable climate and well educated producers, but much of it is due to production practices, including fertilizer, pesticides and high quality seed - technology that could be utilized around the world.