The Indiana Corn Marketing Council played a large role in getting part of the display created for a larger exhibit at the Indiana State Museum to the Indiana State Fair. It was in the Harvest Pavilion building, formerly known as the DuPont Food Pavilion.
The project for the state museum was originally prepared with help form Case IH. The traveling exhibit at the state fair this year was also supported by Dow AgroSciences and Ford Motor Corporation.
You may think you know all there is to know about corn if you grow it, but after looking through the exhibit, you might change your mind. Here is the first in a week-long series based on information in the portion of the exhibit displayed at the state fair.
Most basic of all is the types of corn. According to the historians who prepared the display, there are thousands of varieties of corn. But there are only five types. All of the varieties fit into one of these five types. They are distinguished by the size, shape and color of kernel of corn. These traits also affect their properties.
The first is flour corn, used in earlier days for food purposes. It is followed by flint corn. In the display the flint corn looks more like Indiana corn, with multi-colored kernels. Kernels are hard in nature. Even in grain grading today, there is a category for "flint and dent" corn.
Dent corn is what commercial farmers raise. All hybrids fall into this category, and share the same basic kernel size and shape. A fourth type of kernel is popcorn. While you might think it is an offshoot of one of the other types – it is not. It is a distinctive type of corn kernel which man has adapted for use in popping to form a snack food.
The fifth is sweet corn, also adapted as human food. While sometimes consumers think they can pull and eat field corn, which is dent corn, there is a reason why it feels different in the mouth and has a different sugar content.