World grain production headed for record high

The respected Worldwatch Institute, based in Washington DC, has analyzed global grain production data for 2012 and has come to the conclusion that, despite the US drought, world grain production in 2012 will be up 1% from 2011 and will be at record levels. This is contrary to information being distributed by the North American agricultural industry which is projecting shortages of grain and higher prices for human and animal food. US agricultural interests are using the supposed shortage of corn to push for reduction in renewable fuel mandates which require use of biomass-derived ethanol in US gasoline.

Highlights of the Worldwatch report include:

  • The FAO expects global maize production to increase 4.1 percent from 2011, reaching an estimated 916 million tons in 2012.
  • Global rice production achieved an all-time high of 480 million tons in 2011, a 2.6 percent increase from 2010.
  • World wheat production is projected to drop to 675.1 million tons in 2012, down 3.6 percent from 2011, with the largest declines in feed and biofuel utilization.
  • Since 1961, grain production has increased 269 percent and grain yield has increased 157 percent, while the grain harvest area has increased only 25 percent. This is due largely to the Green Revolution and the introduction of high-yielding grain varieties.

The report is available at http://blogs.worldwatch.org/nourishingtheplanet/global-grain-production-at-record-high-despite-extreme-climatic-events/

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