Corn is simply a summer staple. I couldn’t imagine having a barbecue or outdoor party without it, and I’m sure you couldn’t either! Corn is so much more than the star of your backyard gathering: corn contributes to so many products you use every single day and probably don’t even know about.
Aside from that, corn farmers are quite innovative, using sustainable farming practices and techniques in an effort to conserve land, improve the health of the soil, and protect natural resources.
Here’s everything you need to know below about this surprisingly innovative crop!
What products does corn help to produce?
There are an astounding amount of interesting products that corn plays a role in producing. I only recently learned this myself, and I never even imagined corn could be found in so many essential things that we use every single day.
I always enjoy popcorn at a movie theatre, and corn is present in all my favorite salsas and Mexican dishes, but corn is found in much more than just food, and the corn you think of that you eat is only a small part of the corn that is produced. The corn you eat is called Sweet Corn. The corn we’re about to discuss is considered Field Corn.
Corn contributes to compostable and biodegradable plastics, which often replaces other ingredients that are toxic. Corn helps to produce hand soap, wallpaper, carpeting, beauty products, baby diapers, medical bandages, shoe polish, antibiotics, crayons, ceramics, paints, paper products, tires, textile finishing, and so much more!
Corn starch is the binding agent in Aspirin, which helps hold everything together in that tiny little tablet.
Corn contributes to compostable and biodegradable plastics, sustainable feeds, perfume, toothpaste, tennis shoes, and bio phone cases.
It’s pretty neat to realize that your daily life and the things you use are made possible by corn. It’s also amazing to note that corn is providing these products to you in a very sustainable way. We’re going to go into this more below!
What kind of technology is behind sustainable corn farming?
Technology is all about speed and efficiency, but it is also about sustainability if applied in certain ways. Technology and corn farming is a perfect pairing, because there are a variety of gadgets and gizmos being used to make corn more sustainable.
Some of the gadgets and gizmos being employed by corn farmers to create more sustainable crops include tractors equipped with GPS and self-driving technology, terrain contour mapping, smart irrigation, moisture sensors, and even drones!
A clever way corn farmers are using drones is to help them take aerial photos to in turn monitor the health of their crops. This helps the farmers to in turn use less fertilizers, fuel, and and chemicals.
There are also smart watering systems to help eliminate the waste of water in raising corn crops. They even use pin drops on their smartphones to monitor where large rocks show up in the corn and need to be removed.
It’s so cool to have insights into how technology is being applied to corn farming, which is such a natural process.
“One of the challenges, is that now that we have all this data, what do we do with it? We’re starting to overlay soil maps with yield maps with planting maps, and trying to get a handle on what all this is providing us. It’s an exciting time.” Patty Mann, a corn farmer from Ohio remarks on this innovation.
How are corn farmers working to protect our natural resources and what are some of the sustainable farming practices used to raise corn?
When you think about it, farmers were environmentalists before we even had environmentalists. Corn farmers care about environmental responsibility and natural resources, because they need to take care of their land in order to ensure they can continue to produce successful corn crops and make a livelihood. They’re incentivized by what they do to truly care about how they do it.
One female farmer from Michigan, Carla Wardin, puts it eloquently like this:
“Those who till the soil have always been stewards of the land. It’s not once a year we think about our responsibility; it’s a symbiotic relationship. We care for the land and water, and the Earth gives us the crops, food, and lifestyle we love.”
Some of the most important practices corn farmers are using to protect natural resources include crop rotation, cover crops and using fewer fertilizers and chemicals to protect their crops. Not only is this better for the environment, it protects our local water sources from chemical runoff.
Another interesting thing that corn farmers are doing is partnering up with Honeybee Health Coalition and Keystone Monarch Collaboration to work to increase the declining populations of honeybees and Monarch butterflies while giving them a sustainable habitat to reside in.
Corn – from summer BBQs to winter road de-icers, this year-round innovative, sustainable crop is truly planted for people!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Corn Planted For People. The opinions and text are all mine.