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Corn | What you need to know

Connie Spence
April 24, 2021

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

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


  3. pro-rated for 2020 based on Annual top line program amounts (
  5. 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 :
  6. p.5

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