History of Corn
Corn is a plant descended from the Mexican highlands. It was cultivated for domestic use more than 9,000 years ago. It varies in height from 2.4 meters to plants as large as 7.2 meters. The body of the corn plant resembles bamboo in that it is knobbed, sectioned and pole-like.
Corn was first cultivated in the Americas. It was cultivated in the hills using a planting technique designed to reduce pests and provide mutual support called the Three Sisters. The Three Sisters was a technique designed for planting corn, beans and squash. For thousands of years, this technique was a very effective method of planting corn.
Corn is primarily cultivated today as a crop for animal feed. It is also used as a cereal crop for corn flakes, and a source for ethanol and bourbon. Today the largest produces of corn are the United States, China and Brazil.
Corn varieties include:
· Flour corn
· Dent corn
· Waxy corn
· Pod corn, and
Corn Growing Needs
The major factor in growing corn is that it has shallow roots. Corn is cold-tolerant, but in temperate zones corn must be planted in spring. Corn is very water-efficient and does well in a variety of environments. Good harvests are relatively easy to predict if corn is two feet by mid-July. The shallow roots do mean a strong dependency on moist soil. While corn is water efficient, it is vulnerable to drought. You should rotate your garden to maximize corn production. It is best to rotate corn in your garden with a nitrogen-fixing plant. Soybeans and alfalfa are good choices. Your choice of the variety should involve looking at soil moisture levels first, and soil acidity second. You should follow instructions on the packet, and gather information. Corn is very light sensitive and direct sunlight is best. Most domestic corn is bred to be resistant to many pests or negative conditions.
Common corn pests include corn earworm, armyworm, corn leaf aphid, and the corn silkily. Please note that corn is particularly susceptible to the corn borer. The genetically engineered “Bt corn” is somewhat resistant however. Common diseases are Goss’s Wilt, Grey Leaf Spot, and Maize Dwarf Mosaic Virus.