Corn Growing in America

Corn Growing in America

God has blessed us with many different plants for food. In Genesis 3:17-19 we read, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil, you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow, you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you will return.” If you have ever had a large garden or a farm, you know how true these words are. Plants provide food and essential materials for people worldwide, and corn growing is dominant in the United States.

One bushel of corn requires 50 to 60 plants, yielding 91 ears. That boils down to 80,000 kernels, which will produce corn syrup for 400 cans of soda or 2.8 gallons of ethanol. In the United States, farmers use 90 million acres to grow corn, and 40% of it is used to make ethanol. Corn is also used to make sweeteners, starches, oils, medicines, cosmetics, bioplastics, crayons, toothpaste, and salad dressings.

Corn growing is a major farming activity in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, and neighboring states. The history of corn cultivation is fascinating. A wild grass called teosinte produced small ears of a material called maize. Through selective breeding, Mexican farmers produced some 250 kinds of corn. Modern agricultural science has continued to produce larger ears with greater nutritional content. Corn, as we know it, was not available to the ancient Hebrews, but other grains were.

Today, many are rightfully concerned about the increasing conversion of grasslands into cornfields. Corn cultivation, with its substantial water requirements and potential impact on climate and water pollution, raises important environmental issues. As stewards of God’s creation, we are entrusted with the responsibility to ‘take care of the garden’ (Genesis 2:15). We possess the tools and resources to fulfill this duty and must use them wisely, ensuring that we are good stewards of God’s gifts.

— John N. Clayton © 2024