Photo from Far West Rice
After it matures, corn is harvested in the fall with a grain combine. Combines have row dividers that pick up the corn stalks as the combine moves through the field. The corn ears are broken off from the corn stalk and dragged into the combine, and the stalks are dropped back on the ground. Inside the combine a machine seperates the husks, kernels, and cob. The cob and husks are spit back onto the ground and the kernals are stored. The corn material left on the ground protects the soil from erosion and returns plant mater to the ecosystem.
After corn is harvested a farmer has several options. He or she can sell it right away or store it, either on their own farm or somewhere else. A farmer might store their corn as feed for their animals, or until they can sell it for a higher market price. Neal and Nellie Springer , no-till grain farmers in Knox county, harvest their own corn and store it until there is a good selling price.
Corn is sometimes exported out of the United States. The Pacific Rim region in Asia is the fastest growing market for U.S. corn. Farmers in the Pacific Rim feed the corn to livestock.
|Why would farmers want to export their corn? Why would a country import corn?|