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Wisconsin State Grain


Wisconsin State Grain: Corn

(Zea mays)

Adopted in 1989.

1989 Wisconsin Act 162 amended Section 1.10 to designate corn, (Zea mays,) as the official state grain. Corn was declared the official state Grain in 1989. Corn is an important cash crop in Wisconsin.

During legislative debate, sponsors claimed designating corn as the state grain would draw attention to its importance as a cash crop in Wisconsin and make people more aware of corn's many uses, including livestock feed, sweeteners, ethanol fuel, and biodegradable plastics.

Wisconsin State Grain: Corn

Wisconsin State Grain: Corn

Maize known in some English-speaking countries as corn, is a large grain plant domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain the grain, which are seeds called kernels. Maize kernels are often used in cooking as a starch.

A coarse annual, culms 60-80 cm high, straight, internodes cylindrical in the upper part, alternately grooved on the lower part with a bud in the groove. The stem is filled with pith. Leaf-blades broad. Has separate staminate (male) and pistillate (female) inflorescences. The staminate inflorescence is a tassel borne at the apex, the pistillate flowers occur as spikes (cobs) rising from axils of the lower leaves. The ovary develops a long style or silk which extends from the cob and receives the pollen from the tassel.

Most historians believe maize was domesticated in the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico. The Olmec and Mayans cultivated it in numerous varieties throughout Mesoamerica, cooked, ground or processed through nixtamalization. Beginning about 2500 BC, the crop spread through much of the Americas. The region developed a trade network based on surplus and varieties of maize crops. After European contact with the Americas in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, explorers and traders carried maize back to Europe and introduced it to other countries. Maize spread to the rest of the world because of its ability to grow in diverse climates. Sugar-rich varieties called sweet corn are usually grown for human consumption as kernels, while field corn varieties are used for animal feed, various corn-based human food uses (including grinding into cornmeal or masa, pressing into corn oil, and fermentation and distillation into alcoholic beverages like bourbon whiskey), and as chemical feedstocks

Corn Math

  • An ear of corn averages 800 kernels in 16 rows.
  • A pound of corn consists of approximately 1,300 kernels.
  • 100 bushels of corn produces approximately 7,280,000 kernels.
  • Each year, a single U.S. farmer provides food and fiber for 129 people - 97 in the U.S. and 32 overseas.
  • In the U.S., corn production measures more than 2 times that of any other crop.

Corn Use

  • 5.2 billion bushels (bb) for livestock feed and residual use. Includes 1 bb in distillers grains from ethanol production.
  • 3.5 bb go directly into the production of 13.5 billion gallons of ethanol.
  • 1.4 bb become sweeteners, starch and food products.
  • 1.3 bb of corn will be exported, mostly for feed.
  • 733 million bushels will be carried over as surplus.

Wisconsin Law

The law designating corn as the official Wisconsin state grain is found in the Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 1, Section 1.10(3)(d)

1.10. State song, state ballad, state waltz, state dance, and state symbols.

1.10(3) The Wisconsin state symbols are as follows:
(a) The mourning dove (zenaidura macroura corolinensis linnaus) is the symbol of peace.
(b) Milk is the state beverage.
(c) The sugar maple (acer saccharum) is the state tree.
(d) Corn (Zea mays) is the state grain.
(e) The wood violet (viola papilionacea) is the state flower.
(f) The robin (turdus migratorius) is the state bird.
(g) The muskellunge (Esox masquinongy masquinongy Mitchell) is the state fish.
(h) The badger (taxidea taxus) is the state animal.
(i) The dairy cow (bos taurus) is the state domestic animal.
(j) The white-tailed deer (odocoileus virginianus) is the state wildlife animal.
(k) The American water spaniel is the state dog.
(L) The honey bee (apis mellifera) is the state insect.
(m) The trilobite (calymene celebra) is the state fossil.
(n) Galena (lead sulfide) is the state mineral.
(o) Red granite is the state rock
(p) Antigo silt loam (typic glossoboralf) is the state soil.
(r) The cranberry (vaccinium macrocarpon) is the state fruit.

State Foods
State Foods Symbols
List official US state foods. Includes drinks, deserts, cookies, and muffins to complete meals.
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