Ag Facts

A Harvest of Data that Shows Agriculture’s Value

Get the facts about Iowa agriculture ...
  • Iowa ranks first in the nation in corn and soybean production.

  • Iowa pork producers raise 28% of all U.S. pork.

  • Hamburger from a single steer will make about 720 quarter-pound hamburgers.

  • The average size of an Iowa farm is around 333 acres (as of 2008).

  • One acre is about the size of a football field without its end zones.

  • A bushel of corn can sweeten 400 cans of soda, make 38 boxes of corn flakes or produce more than 2.5 gallons of ethanol.

  • Your body cannot tell the difference between sugar and high fructose corn syrup made from corn, nor is one “healthier” for you than the other.

  • Iowa has at least 11,000 different soils that make up some of the richest, most productive land in the world.

  • Iowa produces 25% of the country’s supply of ethanol, twice as much as any other state.

  • Studies show without ethanol, Americans would pay 20 to 40 cents more per gallon of gasoline.

  • Iowa produces the second most wind energy in the nation, helping generate enough electricity to power several hundred thousand homes each year.

  • Iowa’s agricultural products from all sources were worth $20.5 billion in 2007.

  • Livestock consume 400 million bushels of Iowa-grown corn annually.

  • Conservation methods have reduced wind and water erosion on American crop land by more than a third even in the last 20 years even as yields have more than quadrupled. (USDA & National Corn Growers Association)

  • Iowa’s climate is ideal for growing crops. Hot summers help plants grow and cold winters help the soil replenish itself.

  • The average American farmer feeds about 155 people worldwide. In 1960 that number was 25.6.

  • 98% of all U.S. farms are family owned.

  • All U.S. eggs are antibiotic-free.

  • Milk is routinely tested to make sure antibiotics stay out of the milk supply.

  • All milk contains naturally occurring hormones, even organic.

  • Your body needs protein for nearly everything it does. Protein is needed to build and repair our muscles, to make our hair and skin, to fight against infections and to carry oxygen in our blood. Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are about twenty different amino acids, and your body can actually make some of them. There are nine amino acids, however, that your body can't make. These are called essential amino acids and the only way to get them is through the food you eat. Some forms of protein grown and raised in Iowa include meat, eggs and milk.

Each year, Iowa farmers produce approximately ...
  • 8.2 million turkeys

  • 240 million: pounds of cheese produced (2010) *Iowa State Dairy Association

  • 3.8 million cattle

  • 1,230 million pounds of wool

  • 2.1 billion bushels of corn
  • 13.8 billion eggs    
  • 4.13 billion pounds of milk

  • 17.3 million hogs

  • 235,000 sheep

  • 525 million bushels of soybeans