Corn Facts



  • Corn is the USA’s most important crop, and the second most important crop around the world after wheat. Rice is the third.
  • Corn, like all cereals, is a kind of grass.
  • Corn was first grown by the Indians of Mexico over 7000 years ago and so came to be called Indian corn by Europeans like Columbus.
  • In the USA only varieties that give multi-colored ears are now known as Indian corn.
  • Popcorn is a popular snack food. When heated in a saucepan, the kernels make a loud popping’ noise and literally jump out of the pan. The ‘popped’ popcorn can then be eaten straight away, with salt or sugar for extra taste.
  • The Corn Belt in the American Midwest produces 40% of the world’s corn.
  • American corn grows up to 3 m tall.
  • The ear or head of a corn plant is called a cob and is covered with tightly packed yellow or white kernels of seeds. The kernels are the part of the plant that is eaten.
  • There are seven main kinds of corn kernel: dent corn, flint corn, flour corn, sweet corn, popcorn, waxy corn and pod corn.
  • Some corn is ground into flour, while some is eaten whole as sweet corn and some is fed to livestock.
  • Popcorn has no starch, unlike most other corn. When heated, moisture in the kernels turns to steam and expands or pops rapidly.