Corn, a grain, is also known as maize. When Christopher Columbus landed in the New World in 1492, the people he called Indians were expert farmers. When he returned to Europe, Columbus reported the Indians grew “maize,” which sounded like the name the Indians used: Zea Mays.
But when the Pilgrims arrived in 1692 on the East Coast, the Pilgrims called the grain “Indian corn” to distinguish it from British corn, which meant any type of grain, especially wheat. The Indians taught the newcomers how to grow, harvest, and store corn, which literally kept the colonists from starving to death during the harsh winters.
Corn has the highest yield of any agricultural plant. For every grain planted, it returns 150-300 grains.
In 2015-2016, the world’s consumption of corn was over 40 million bushels. The United States led in corn consumption at 12,360 million bushels. China was second at 8,937 million bushels followed by Europe, Brazil, Mexico, Japan and Canada. Other countries produced fewer bushels.
The states with the highest corn production were: Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and Minnesota followed by Indiana, South Dakota, and Kansas.
As the population increases, there will be an even greater demand for this grain that evolved thousands of years ago.