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Different Types of Corn & How They are Used

Different Types of Corn & How They are Used

The United States produces about one-third of the world's corn. The top corn-producing states are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Second to that are Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. This group of states is known as the Corn Belt. As growing methods and technical capabilities have increased over the years, corn farmers now produce six times more corn now than in 1930. For example, in 2016, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska produced over 1 billion bushels of corn.

TYPES OF CORN

There are four basic types of corn that can be seen in the U.S.

1.) Dent Corn: The majority of corn grown in the U.S. is dent corn, also called field corn. It is mainly used for livestock feed. It is called dent corn because it has a dent in the kernel. This type of corn is not eaten fresh and is harvested when the kernels are dry.

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2.) Sweet Corn: Have you ever eaten corn on the cob? If you have, you were eating sweet corn! It is picked while it’s not fully grown so that this way it’s higher in sugar, making it taste sweet! This is the kind of corn we find at the grocery store or farmer’s markets.

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2.) Sweet Corn: Have you ever eaten corn on the cob? If you have, you were eating sweet corn! It is picked while it’s not fully grown so that this way it’s higher in sugar, making it taste sweet! This is the kind of corn we find at the grocery store or farmer’s markets.

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4.) Popcorn: Popcorn is a type of flint corn. It has a hard shell and a soft, moist center. When it is heated the moisture causes pressure which eventually explodes. That is the pop part of the corn!

DID YOU KNOW: Americans consume more popcorn than any other country!crop

HOW CORN IS USED

Corn is used in a variety of ways. One of the commonly known ways that corn is used is in FOOD! We often enjoy foods made from corn such as corn on the cob, popcorn, cornbread, and corn pudding. Other foods that contain corn are bakery foods like bread, crackers and muffins, cereals like Corn Flakes, Kix and Cheerios, grits, tortillas and tortilla chips, soft drink sweeteners, chewing gum, peanut butter, and other food products such as corn syrup, cornmeal, and cornstarch. Corn is everywhere!

THREE FUN FACTS ABOUT CORN

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1.) According to the USDA, the United States produces and exports A LOT of corn, with a total of export value of $18.63 billion as of 2021. WOW! The top 10 countries that corn is exported to as of 2021 are China, Mexico, Japan, Colombia, South Korea, Canada, Taiwan, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Honduras.

2.) Corn has a pollination process and it’s one of the most important steps in the crop’s life cycle. In this process corn is self-pollinated which means the wind helps the pollen fall to the silks. Farmers have to pay close attention to corn during this time because a successful pollination can make the difference between a successful yield or a low yield. THAT’S THE POWER OF POLLINATION!

3.) There are many jobs in the Corn Industry! People are needed to plant and harvest corn and process corn into ethanol and food products. Some careers related to corn are Pest Control Advisors, Plant Breeders, Shipping Coordinators, Marketing/Commodity Specialists, Feed Mill Managers, Livestock Producers and Ethanol Engineers.

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