Corn harvest in Illinois - September

Field corn vs. sweet corn: Despite common perception, they aren’t the same thing.

Corn covers more American farmland than any other crop, yet you’ll need to find a backyard garden for some corn on the cob to butter and grill.

Field corn (pictured above) is used for livestock feed, ethanol production, manufactured goods and a food ingredient in the form of corn cereal, corn starch, corn oil and corn syrup. Also called “dent corn,” each kernel has a small dent on the end of it. Field corn accounts for more than 99 percent of the corn acreage in the United States.

Sweet corn

Sweet corn is consumed as a vegetable and makes up less than 1 percent of all corn grown in the U.S. each year. As you can see in the photo above, the kernels are not dented.

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