Corn of the future, rooted in the past

There’s a lot of talk in the upper midwest about the overuse of nitrogen fertilizers to bolster dented corn yields. My neighbors in Iowa, where they produce the most, is said to be responsible for the majority nitrogen going down the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. MN, WI, IL, MO…we all have a part in nitrogen runoff.

So, the folks down in southern Mexico have been growing corn (corn is their staple, the faith of most Mayan civs believe humans were born of corn) for millennia. No nitrogen. If you look at the funny photo in the link, you’ll see the key. That snot running down the plant is their source of nitrogen. That slime attracts bacteria that turns into nitrogen for the plant.

I’m proud of my state, and glad to see our flagship school, UW- Madison (where my son is in his senior year) has begun to grow the snotnitrocorn, and hopefully not develop it too much. I just worry about the growing season of the corn compared to WI climate. We’ll see. Much higher protein dented corn than the yellow field varieties we use today, many of them of questionable sourcing.

This stuff tastes like hominy. It’s starchy/waxy, but the first tortillas, masa we’re made of something like the corn in Oaxaca. It is the corn that birthed America; before there was a land called America.

So, has anyone else tried this corn? Anybody look into this? Could make a huge difference in agriculture.

The problem is, once Monsanto, or ADM gets their grubby mitts on it, the people who have grown it for thousands of years, won’t be able to grow it anymore. Patent/copyright. So, the folks in Oaxaca stay tight lipped about it. Not paranoia if there’s good reason.

Thoughts, experiences, opinions?


Thanks. Interesting. Maybe the smaller organic farmers will consider growing.


Research and development is vital work, but from a practical sense rotating crops between soybeans and corn is likely more impactful.

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How would this old/new corn work as animal feed and in ethanol production?
Eating corn seems to be the least of our worries.
BTW, we’re such old hippies here in Southern Oregon our county voted to be a GMO free area.
Mostly symbolic, especially since pot/hemp is now our #1 cash crop, surpassing fruit and wine.

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GMO free is a good thing, if it’s for real.

Ethanol I feel is dead or dying. It uses good fuel to make inferior fuel. Our local ethanol plant is looong gone.

I’m thinking animal and human food; that way we won’t ruin it with GMO thinking.

Rotating crops is great, rotational grazing, even better. Most farmers use corn for winter feed. These days most farmers by me chop all their corn for winter silage.

Our area used to be a major hemp producer ions ago. That’s why if you go down our rivers, you find it on islands everywhere. HFC is a major concern of mine. Our school breakfasts are nothing but salt, HFC. and fat, then a bag of cut up apples. Drives me nuts.


Rotating is great. By me they rotate crops and rotationally graze.

We tried to wrest control of our school lunches back from corporate control when my kids were in school.
Almost impossible to defeat Sodexo and contracts the district signs.

I feel the same pain. We have a cook that can cook. We live in an ag heavy area. Three cheese factories in one town and the string cheese (gawdawful) comes from Houston, TX. Bunch of crap.

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