U.S. corn farmers succeeded in a challenging year, producing the second-highest harvest (12.1 billion bushels) despite harsh weather and other obstacles, the National Corn Growers Association reports in its newest World of Corn statistical look at the corn industry both domestic and worldwide.

World of Corn is a respected collection of the most important stats about corn production, export and consumption, providing key information in a readable format, comparing numbers and trends across the years.

This year's publication, available online now, is titled "Making the Grade" and uses a fun, collegiate notebook design and theme to present the information.

"As students in elementary school, we were graded on the three 'Rs' -- reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic. In agriculture, performance is measured against the four 'Fs' -- food, fuel, feed and fiber," NCGA President Bob Dickey and Chief Executive Officer Rick Tolman note in the introduction. "And as they do every year, U.S. corn farmers continue to earn straight 'As' across the board."

"America is facing some difficult tests in a number of important subjects - from the economy to energy security to the environment," Dickey and Tolman write. "Regardless of the challenge, we can always count on America's corn producers to go to the head of the class."