By now you have probably seen some of our new marketing materials, new for 2015. Much of our new material focuses on the National Corn Growers Association’s 2015 World of Corn report, an excellent piece that you should all take the time to read. This report shares that 40 percent of our nation’s corn crop goes to livestock feed. Let that sink in. 40 percent of all corn grown in the United States is used on a livestock operation. That makes livestock the largest consumer of corn in the country.
Putting an emphasis on choosing corn hybrids specifically for the end use is not a new concept for Masters Choice. We have been preaching that message for many years. Nearly all hybrid seed corns sold on the market today are vitreous, hard-endosperm varieties. Decades ago our industry was driven by the need to successfully market corn for export, requiring a very hard, tightly compact kernel that would stand up to the rigors of the export and shipping processes. To meet this need U.S. corn suppliers bred hybrids with these hard endosperms. These changes made starch up to 50% less rumen degradable, resulting in significantly reduced feeding efficiency.
Today, less than 13 percent of all corn sold in the United States is exported, while almost 40 percent is fed to livestock. The 5,275 million bushels of corn fed to livestock in 2014 represents, by far, the most significant corn usage in the country. That means livestock consumes more corn than ethanol, export, or food additives. However, even though corn usage has dramatically shifted, the breeding philosophies of major corn producers have not.
So, with livestock feed being such a substantial piece of our country’s economy, why aren’t more seed corn suppliers spending research dollars focused on improving feed efficiency? Quite to the contrary, most companies have policies prohibiting it.
At Masters Choice our main purpose is helping to improve the efficiency of livestock operations across the country. We are dedicated to researching and developing the most cutting edge products on the market, regardless of what our competition does. It is our firm belief that corn should be developed with the end use in mind. Advances in research and development practices now allow us to better understand what corn genetics and materials make for the best livestock feed. Those are the things that we, at Masters Choice, are committed to pursuing.