Corn Case Study Examples
Corn production, popularly referred as maize has gained popularity across most continents in the world due to its nutritious content for human and animal consumption. History dates the growth of the corn crop in the early 2500BC during which time it was domesticated by the Mayans and Olmec along the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico. The advantageous capacity of corn tom withstands the diverse climate changes in various continents drew the attention from people to start growing the crop. During the trading activities between the Americans and European citizens, the productivity of maize gained its grounds, and the traders acted as agents of spreading the commodity to other countries in the world.
Over the years, through research and development, corn has been introduced into the market in various varieties that are mainly categorized into human or animal consumption. For instance, the field corn variety is specifically a food provision for animals due to its nutritious benefits to the animal’s health. Other functions of maize products include production of starch, biofuels as well as production of ethanol. United States leads in the growth capacity of corn with an estimated reserved land of 39 million hectares to grow corn grains (Johnson & Tolman, 2013). France trails in the second place in terms of production and export capacity across other parts of the world. In the United States, approximately 80% of the corn produced is domestically absorbed while the remaining 20% is exported to more than 100 countries such as Japan and Korea that account for about 24% and 10% of the total corn export value. Based on 2014 food statistics, the United States produced an average 351.3 million metric tons of grain products thus occupying the highest rank in corn production capacity in the world. In France, corn or maize production accounts for an average of 3% of the total world’s production that accounts for approximately 15million bushels in production capacity occupying an average of 5million hectares occupied by corn plants. However, the figure is deemed to increasing at a decreasing rate due to the imposed stiff regulations on Genetically Modified foods (GMO)
Corn variety is a seed that is highly resistant to various types of temperature and other climate variations. The plant is reactive to cold temperatures hence its root system is shallow and depends on the level of moisture in the soil. Presence of adequate moisture in the soil enables the plant to withstand the prolonged and unpredictable dry weather that mostly engulf most parts in the African continent. In most cases, the plant survives in wet and hot climatic conditions however; the continued improvement in the genetic structure of the corn seed has facilitated the plat to acclimatize to hot and dry conditions experienced in other parts of the world. Various countries have continued to invest I agriculture with corn or maize growing being a priority due to its capacity to withstand adverse weather conditions and produce high yield that could be used as a shield for the world’s population during the dry weather season. United States has been the leading supplier of maize with approximately 40% of the world’s production emanating from the country (U.S. Grains Council, 2015). Other leading suppliers of maize include France, China, Brazil, Argentina, and Ukraine, who occupied a combined share of 42% of the total corn exports across the globe.
In United States and France, corn production has been essential in feeding the human population, as well as the animals. 80% of the total domesticated corn production in US is widely used as ingredients for animal feeds which is approximately 4450 bushels per year Corn, 2015). Industrial users utilize about 33% of the total harvest in production of ethanol fuel. This has been viewed as environmentally friendly in reducing carbon gas emission at an average rate of 8 tons for every liter of corn ethanol produced (Pollack, 2011). Similarly, the France production capacity has been directed to livestock feed manufacturers and ethanol producers and in the production of alcoholic beverages. Both countries have reaped huge amounts through supplies both in the domestic and international market and acquired a brand name especially in animal feeds, ethanol fuel, and the corn oil starch.
Demand for Corn production and its associated products are mostly domesticated in both US and France markets. While US exports only 20% of the total production, France exports almost half of its produce to the external market (European commission, 2012). The earnings gained through exports have continued to contribute significantly to respective countries Gross Domestic Product in terms of a rise in food capacity and creation of employment opportunities in the manufacturing sector. Demand capacity for both United States and France corn production is predominately domesticated with the latter’s demand spread within the corridors of European Union Countries. In US, corn produce has been estimated to increase in average feeding capacity from about 25 people in the early 1960 to about 150 farmers who rely on maize as their economic and staple food output. Livestock feed accounts for an average of 1500 million bushels per year in the United States while France sells more than 3 million tons of bushels to companies that engage in processing food for animals.
In the recent years, the debate on genetically modified foods has elicited a heated debate among various nations. The focus has been directed to the increasing food production with different countries favoring the agricultural technology to boost their yield for feeding the population. Others such as The European Union countries have enacted strict measures concerning production and sale of GMO foods citing health concerns for human and animal social welfare (Park, McFarlane, Phipps & Ceddia, 2011). Such an emerging issue that has France mostly creates a comparison platform for the two countries. Among the twelve predominant themes, role of agribusiness, GMOs, diet and health, food security, animal welfare rules and safety, bio-based energy and biofuels as well as agricultural trade and international development will form our basis for comparison. Apart from, organic production and GMOs, both countries have developed common grounds in other areas of concern.
U.S.-French comparisons regarding the various Predominant themes
Both United States and France have been victims of the raging debate on genetically modified food productions in the world as a counter measure to avert the food crisis that has been induced by deplorable climatic changes. The US has been leading of advocating GMO foods claiming it would help bridge the food deficiency gap experienced in the world due to the rapidly increasing population. The France government approved a bill that prohibited growth or importation of any food variety that contained genetically modified organisms- a situation that has adversely affected the production capacity of corn in France. The country has since been surpassed by other nations such as Brazil and China. In US, an average 86% of the total maize produced since 2011 is genetically induced by hormonal organism to increase yield and help the plan withstand unpredictable weather conditions (Johnson & Tolman, 2013).
In both countries, maize is regarded as the primary staple food that could help sustain a country’s population during the dry season. The ability of the plant to produce high yield and high durability upon spray of pesticides has boosted both countries food stock for a longer period. The diversity of the produce to feed animals is also a help to the animal industry that is severely affected by the adverse weather conditions. In US, 80% of the corn produced is consumed an indication the product as a staple food domestically (Johnson & Tolman, 2013). Organizations such as the World Food program rank corn as the primary crop that could sustain a country’s population for a longer period during dry weather conditions. In France, silage maize, usually referred as fodder is significant food security component for livestock health and hunger sustainability.
Animal welfare rules and safety
Both U.S and France have not developed specific rules that guide the welfare of animals and their safety from the hazardous situation. The basic guidelines are only limited to freedom from distress, freedom from thirst, hunger, pain or injury as well as a necessity for a vast space and clean environments. However, the imposed ban on GMOs could be viewed as an indirect protection of animal welfare in terms of livestock feed production from induced genetic foods (Reuters, 2014)
Bio-based energy and biofuels
Various nations including United States and France have joined other environmental organizations such as United Nations Environmental program (UNEP) in sensitizing the world on the need to reduce carbon emission pollutants in production. As a result, the endorsement of Biofuels production using corn produce is a significant milestone towards eradicating gas emissions to the environment (Sorda, Banse & Kemfert, 2010). In United States, almost 90% of ethanol produced emerges from corn plants with an estimation of about 2.8 gallons of ethanol extracted from one bushel of corn. The results portray the positive trend towards reducing environmental hazards influenced by emissions from using crude oil. In France, an estimated 160000 tons of ethanol are extracted through corn processing hence reducing hazardous carbon foot rain in both countries.
Role of Agribusiness
Corn growing is an agricultural practice in US and France that represents a significant amount of revenue, as well as employment creation. In the United States, 20000 workers are indirectly employed through corn production especially in the ethanol manufacturing industries. Similarly, growing of corn has contributed significantly to employment creation among the French citizens as well boosting the country’s Gross Domestic product.
Agricultural trade and development
Both countries have reaped tremendous benefits from exporting the products in various countries such as Japan Korea and Mexico. France exports have been largely dominant within the European Union Corridors and have since occupied a notable share in revenue earnings for the country’s Gross Domestic product.
Johnson, P., & Tolman, R. (2013). World of corn: Unlimited possibilities. National Corn Growers Association.
French ban on GMO maize cultivation gets final approval. (2014). Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/05/france-gmo-idUSL6N0NR2MZ20140505
Corn - Production and Exports | U.S. Grains Council. (2015, February). Retrieved from http://www.grains.org/buyingselling/corn
Corn. (2015, February). Retrieved from www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/corn.aspx
Pimentel, D., & Patzek, T. W. (2005). Ethanol production using corn, switch grass, and wood; biodiesel production using soybean and sunflower. Natural resources research, 14(1), 65-76.
Sorda, G., Banse, M., & Kemfert, C. (2010). An overview of biofuel policies across the world. Energy policy, 38(11), 6977-6988.
Pollack, A. (2011, February 11). US approve Corn modified ethanol. New York Times [New York].
EU. (2012). EU cereal farms report 2012 based on FADN data. European Commission.
Park, J., McFarlane, I., Phipps, R., & Ceddia, G. (2011). The impact of the EU regulatory constraint of transgenic crops on farm income. New biotechnology,28(4), 396-406.
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