Gov. Jay Nixon and Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture Harry Bozoian today joined leaders from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and the Missouri Corn Growers Association at ADM's recently-expanded grain elevator in Novelty to discuss Missouri's strong corn harvest and the Governor's priorities for continuing to strengthen Missouri agriculture by expanding exports and the use of renewable fuels such as ethanol.
"Here in Missouri, agriculture is a vital part of our economy and our way of life and ADM's newly-expanded grain elevator here in Novelty is yet another sign that it's stronger than ever,"Gov. Nixon said. "My administration will continue to strengthen this backbone of our economy by opening new markets for farm products and expanding the use of renewable fuels, like ethanol, which boost our nation's energy independence and demand for Missouri-grown products."
"The corn and ethanol industries injected $12 billion into the state's economy from 2000 to 2011," said Gary Marshall, CEO of Missouri Corn Growers Association. "We appreciate the Governor's leadership in putting the needs of Missouri farmers first and look forward to working with acting director Bozoian to help Missouri farmers do what they do best: feed and fuel a global population."
Missouri corn growers and ethanol producers employ 67,000 people, producing roughly 250 million bushels of corn and nearly 300 million gallons of renewable fuel for use in the Show-Me State and throughout the world. Last year, Missouri's corn crop was valued at more than $1.9 billion.
"Missouri's farmers and farm families are key to the success of agriculture in our state and throughout the world," said Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture Harry Bozoian. "As this facility grows alongside the producers it, it will also strengthen this community, the surrounding area and agricultural production throughout Missouri.
In addition to supporting renewable fuels, Gov. Nixon has made it a priority to open new markets for Missouri agricultural products. Earlier this year, Gov. Jay Nixon announced that his trade mission to the Republic of Korea and the Republic of China (Taiwan) had resulted in agreements to sell a total of $1.9 billion in Missouri goods to Korean and Taiwanese consumers over the next four years. In 2011, during a trade mission to China, the Governor closed a $4.4 billion export agreement to sell more Missouri goods to China over the next three years with a specific emphasis on agricultural products.
These efforts have helped push exports of Missouri-grown goods to record highs. In fact, since Gov. Nixon took office, Missouri's agricultural exports have increased by more than $1 billion. According to the United States Census Bureau, the value of corn exported from Missouri has increased 74 percent over the past four years, from $151 million in 2009 to $263 million in 2012.
In Missouri, the 2013 corn harvest is well underway, with much of the more than 3.5 million acres planted already harvested. Yields are expected to surpass USDA estimates as producers report above average and record-yields throughout the state - including producers in northeastern Missouri harvesting more than 250 bushels per acre.