In the U.S., corn is our big crop: 94 million acres farmed in 2012. It’s followed by soybeans (76 million acres) and wheat (49 million acres). There’s also the 55 million acres used to grow hay for livestock. And keep in mind that the majority of this corn is being used to feed animals; the remainder is used to manufacture starch, sweeteners, corn oil, beverage and industrial alcohols, and ethanol.
We also export up to 20 percent of the corn we produce. The soybeans we use for animal feed, to make hydrogenated vegetable oil, or export up to 40 percent. Wheat we use for flour, but the amount we grow in this country has decreased 30 percent since 1981 because of the financial incentives for farmers to grow corn; we also export up to 50 percent of the wheat still produced.
Contrast this with the 4 million acres used for vegetables and 5 million acres covered with orchards. And the tiny 572,000 acres used to grow sweet corn. The kind of corn you actually eat. The kind of corn actually grown to be real food for people.