Information on Corn
Corn is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in
Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The Aztecs and Mayans
cultivated it in numerous varieties throughout central and
southern Mexico, to cook or grind in a process called
nixtamalization. Later the corn crop spread through much of the
Americas. Between 1250 and 1700, nearly the whole continent had
gained access to the corn crop. Any significant or dense
populations in the region developed a great trade network based
on surplus and varieties of corn crops. After European contact
with the Americas in the late 15th and early 16th centuries,
explorers and traders carried maize back to Europe and
introduced it to other countries through trade. Corn spread to
the rest of the world due to its popularity and ability to grow
in diverse climates.
Corn is the most widely grown crop in the Americas with 332 million metric tons grown annually in the United States alone. Transgenic maize made up 85% of the corn planted in the United States in 2009. While some maize varieties grow to 12 metres (39 ft) tall, most commercially grown maize has been bred for a standardized height of 2.5 metres (8.2 ft). Sweet corn is usually shorter than field-corn varieties.