Sprague, G. F. Department of Agronomy, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois.
Duncan, William G. Department of Agronomy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.
Kommedahl, Thor Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
BeMiller, James N. Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
Last reviewed:May 2019
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Zea mays, also known as maize, a grain crop grown for its edible seeds (kernels). Corn (Zea mays) [Fig. 1] is an important cereal grass plant belonging to the order Poales (formerly Cyperales). The top corn-producing countries are the United States, China, Brazil, Argentina, and Ukraine. In the United States, which grows almost 40% of the world's production, corn occupies a larger area than any other cereal grain crop. Production is widely distributed throughout the United States, but it reaches its greatest concentration in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana, and South Dakota. This area, called the Corn Belt, is characterized by moderately high temperature, fertile, well-drained soils, and normally adequate rainfall. Although corn is grown in the United States primarily for livestock feed, about 10% is used for the manufacture of starch, sugar, corn meal, breakfast cereals, oil, alcohol, and several other specialized products. See also: Cereal; Cyperales; Farm crops; Grain crops; Grass crops; Horticultural crops; Poales
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