Kernel Knowledge: Fun and Fascinating Corn Facts

February 13, 2024 by Riley Knott

Agriculture Facts

Corn, also known as maize, is a staple crop that has been cultivated for thousands of years. There are many fascinating facts about this versatile grain that are less well-known. Let's dive into some fun and interesting facts about corn:


  • Ear of Corn Anatomy: An average ear of corn contains about 800 kernels arranged in 16 rows. A pound of corn consists of approximately 1,300 kernels.


  • Height and Roots: A corn plant can grow anywhere from 5 to 12 feet tall, with the average height being around 8 feet by midsummer. A healthy corn plant's roots can reach an impressive 6 ½ feet into the ground, anchoring it firmly in place.


  • Number of Ears: Different corn plants can have varying numbers of ears, with some plants producing two to three ears.


  • Sweet Corn Production: Despite its popularity, only about one percent of the corn planted in the United States is sweet corn, which is the type of corn most commonly eaten by humans.


  • Even Rows: One interesting fact about corn cobs is that they always have an even number of rows of kernels.


  • Tallest Corn Stalk: The world record for the tallest corn stalk stands at more than 35 feet, showcasing the impressive growth potential of this crop under optimal conditions.


  • Global Corn Production: More than 90 million acres of land worldwide are dedicated to producing corn, highlighting its importance as a major food crop.


  • Corn Terminology: In most countries outside of the United States, corn is referred to as "maize," which is derived from the Spanish word "maíz."


  • US Corn Production: The United States is the leading producer of corn, accounting for about one-third of the world's total corn production.


  • Water Consumption: It takes approximately 91 gallons of water to produce just one pound of corn, underscoring the crop's significant water requirements.