Corn was first domesticated by native peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. Modern corn is believed to have been derived from the Balsas teosinte (Zea mays parviglumis), a wild grass. Its culture had spread as far north as southern Maine by the time of European settlement of North America, and Native Americans taught European colonists to grow the indigenous grains. Since its introduction into Europe by Christopher Columbus and other explorers and colonizers, corn has spread to all areas of the world suitable to its cultivation. It is grown from 58° N latitude in Canada and Russia to 40° S latitude in South America, with a corn crop maturing somewhere in the world nearly every month of the year. It is the most important crop in the United States and is a staple food in many places.
About a third of America’s corn crop is used for feeding cattle, hogs, and poultry in the U.S. Corn provides the “carbs” in animal feed, while soybeans provide the protein. It takes a couple of bushels of American corn to make corn-fed steak; by some estimates, a beef cow can eat a ton of corn if raised in a feedlot. Both dairy cows and beef cows also consume silage, which is fermented corn stalks and other green plants.
Only one percent of corn planted in the United States is sweet corn.
While a small portion of “Field Corn” is processed for use as corn cereal, corn starch, corn oil and corn syrup for human consumption, it is primarily used for livestock feed, ethanol production and manufactured goods.
One bushel of corn produces 17 pounds of DDGS as well as 2.8 gallons of ethanol.
Corn is in more than 4,000 grocery store items a few examples include: shampoo, toothpaste, chewing gum, marshmallows, crayons and paper.
Exports supplying the world with corn and corn products which boosts our economy
Corn can be produced in various colors including blackish, bluish-gray, purple, green, red and white but the most common color grown is yellow.
The number of kernels per ear can vary from 500 to about 1,200, but a typical ear would have 800 kernels in 16 rows
A bushel of corn is 56 pounds, about the weight of a large bag of dog food.