3/15/18 • General

Study Reveals Powerful Engine of American Economy: Corn Refiners

March 15, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – A nationwide economic study released today details how America’s corn refiners contribute to the nation’s economy, finding the industry has massive, outsized impacts across the country.

Corn refiners buy dent corn from America’s farmers and separate the kernels into their component parts. For years, those ingredients have been used to make food taste better, cosmetics last longer, pharmaceuticals easier to swallow and plastics environmentally-friendly. Today, corn products are used in 3-D printing inks and studied by nanotechnology scientists as a method for delivering cancer treatments.

Because corn refiners produce essential ingredients across so many industries, they have a powerful multiplier effect on the nation’s economy.

The study released today found corn refining’s contributions to the U.S. economy include:

Direct Jobs: 8,308                                 Total Jobs: 237,673

Direct Wages: $1.00 Billion                 Total Wages: $14.45 Billion

Direct Output: $22.00 Billion             Total Output: $71.09 Billion

Business Taxes: $5.13 Billion

“Today’s study illustrates the essential role corn refiners play in the nation’s economy. We not only add exceptional value to one of this country’s most important commodities, but as a result, our industry serves as a powerful multiplier to America’s economic strength,” said chairman of the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), Christopher M. Cuddy of Archer Daniels Midland Company.

“Policymakers recognize that corn is central to American agriculture, but they often overlook the step between farm field and store shelf. That step is refining.  This study reveals that our industry stands at a powerful juncture in corn’s economic value chain, helping turn the bounty of America’s heartland into an engine of economic growth,” said president and CEO of CRA John Bode.

The economic study was completed by John Dunham and Associates and is available here. The study calculates the direct impact of the corn refining industry on jobs, wages, economic output and taxes at the national level. It also examines the economic impact on a state-by-state basis, as the association’s member companies operate 27 plants in eleven states.

In addition, it measures the economic impact of the suppliers that support the corn refining industry, as well as those industries supported by the induced spending of direct and supplier industries, these combined economic contributions are labeled “total”.


The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, starch, advanced bioproducts, corn oil and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein and fiber.