"Global grain production is expected to hit record levels this year, despite the drought that gripped most of the Midwest, the Worldwatch Institute said in a report released yesterday."
"Grain production will reach 2.4 billion tons in 2012, up 1 percent from last year's levels, the environmental research organization said. Of that, global corn production is expected to reach 916 million tons, an increase of 4.1 percent from last year, according to the report, which used data from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
The increases are expected despite the Midwest drought that has prompted the Department of Agriculture to lower its U.S. corn harvest projections from a record 345 million tons to 274.3 million tons. Argentina's corn crop is also down 11 percent this year, though Brazil's increased 17 percent to a record high of 66 million tons.
The drought has prompted calls by lawmakers, governors and livestock groups for U.S. EPA to waive the federal renewable fuel standard, which mandates the country this year blend 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol into the fuel supply."