Different Types of Corn
Field corn is the primary type of corn grown in the United States. (Photo by MSU Extension)
As you travel Mississippi roads, it’s common to spot a corn field or two during your travels. Corn is the fourth ranked crop in the state, bringing in over $700 million each year! Many people think these fields are full of delicious, sweet corn. However, the corn you are most likely seeing is known as field corn.
Field corn is the primary type of corn grown in the United States. It’s used for food products (cereal, chips, corn syrup, grits, corn meal), ethanol, and polymers. The main use of field corn is for animal feed. You’ve probably looked at field corn stalks and thought, “That corn is dead!” Producers leave it in the field until the corn and husks dry out, making the harvest and storage processes much easier.
On the other hand, sweet corn makes up only one percent of corn grown in the U.S. each year. This is the type of corn you buy in the grocery store and eat right off the cob. It’s harvested in the summer when it is tender, and the husks are still mostly green.
While we’re talking about corn, it’s only appropriate to mention one of its most popular treats: popcorn. Popcorn is a completely different type of corn that retains moisture when dried. When heated, the corn kernels pop and turn inside out, making popcorn!
Be sure to follow our Extension grain crops specialist Dr. Erick Larson on Twitter to keep up with Mississippi’s corn crop!
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