5 Different Types of Corn Grown in the US

5 Different Types of Corn Grown in the US

Many farms and businesses grow corn across the US throughout the year. Understanding the varieties of corn and their differences will help you grow the best crop for harvesting and selling. Learn more about the five different types of corn grown in the US below to decide which you want to peel out of its husk when it’s time to harvest.

Flint Corn

This maize variant has a hard exterior to protect the endosperm in its center, giving it a solid texture like flint. Most flint corn has multiple colors with shades of red, blue, purple, yellow, and white. The kernels are slightly translucent and make great decorations for holidays such as Thanksgiving.

This corn typically grows in Northern states, especially parts of the Midwest, such as Indiana and Wisconsin. Plant this crop in rows two to three feet apart after the last frost. Sow the seeds one inch deep and provide them with one inch of water weekly.

The Benefits of Growing Flint Corn

Flint corn is an edible corn that people will often eat in various dishes in place of maize, such as grits, atole, or dishes that use cornmeal in their recipes. The low moisture in each kernel prevents this corn from freezing, making it ideal for sale in the Midwest, where winters are typically harsher.

People often use these kernels to make popcorn given its hard exterior and glossy appearance. However, a primary difference between flint corn and popcorn is while popcorn bursts, flint corn blooms.

Sweet Corn

Many enjoy the taste of sweet corn. It’s a popular canned food choice when processed. This type of corn is a classic grown in the US, and its iconic white-yellow kernels are a staple in most meals during the holidays.

This corn originates from a mutation within the genes that convert sugar into starch inside the endosperm, resulting in sweeter-tasting corn. Although every state grows sweet corn, the biggest producers of the crop are Florida, Georgia, California, Washington, New York, and Oregon.

Plant seeds one foot apart in rows three feet apart. Spread them out in four rows to make a block, switching between vertical and horizontal lines. The crops sprout after three months, with some varieties ready for harvest in two months. Use sweet corn bags to package and transport your harvest easily when traveling with it.

The Benefits of Growing Sweet Corn

You’ll have a top seller in your selection at the farmer’s market when you harvest sweet corn. Sweet corn’s taste is unique and delectable, making it a popular side dish for many throughout the US.

This corn is easy to grow and yields up to two ears per plant. Selling large quantities is easy, and many look for them around the holidays when large meals need a delicious starch.


Although the kernels lack the same appearance as other types of field corn after processing, popcorn is a great type of corn that many love. Popcorn begins as a hard kernel on an ear and has a significantly hard shell that keeps the endosperm safe.

The fraction of moisture inside the kernel turns to steam and creates pressure when heated, causing it to expand and puff into the fluffy yet crunchy food that we eat as a movie snack. An ear of popcorn has a noticeably lumpy appearance as the kernels are more solid and glossy.

Most of the world’s popcorn comes from the Midwestern states such as Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, and Michigan. Grow popcorn by planting seeds eight inches apart in rows of four 18-24 inches apart. The crops will sprout within ten days and reach full maturity in three to four months.

The Benefits of Growing Popcorn

You will ensure sales at farmers markets and in-store when you grow and sell popcorn. The price of small or large bag sizes will depend on your discretion, but people will feel inclined to buy fresh popcorn because they know the ones in the grocery store have been sitting in the same bag for months. The fresh kernels are also organic, making them a healthier option people will value compared to processed popcorn.

Flour Corn

People use flour corn as a primary ingredient to make corn flour, making it an important crop in culinary practices for baking and cooking. This corn grows in drier regions of the US, causing a pale coloration to its kernels. The kernel’s soft texture makes it ideal for grounding up after drying. Plant flour corn seeds in soil that is at least 55°F. Space the seeds one to two feet apart in rows three feet apart.

The Benefits of Growing Flour Corn

Flour corn isn’t as popular to eat as the other types of corn, but it is a unique item to sell to people interested in making their flour mixes from scratch. Culinary enthusiasts will buy flour corn for more authentic corn flour to use for their fried and baked dishes.

The soft texture is also a great food for people without teeth or with sensitive gums. Although it’s a particular audience to sell to, these crops do have benefits when sold at farmers markets.

Dent Corn

Dent corn is identifiable thanks to the small indent in each kernel. Although many farmers feed their livestock with it, humans are also able to eat dent corn—but the less sweet, starchier taste makes it less delectable than other varieties. The corn grows to about six to nine feet tall and matures within four months. These crops are common in the Southeast and Midwest of the US, and most of the corn grown in the country is dent corn or a variation of it.

The Benefits of Growing Dent Corn

A variety of people will want your dent corn. Ranchers will want corn for their animals, and certain businesses may want it to make products such as corn oil. You could use the corn for food manufacturing on your land. Corn tortilla chips, cornmeal, taco shells, and many other foods typically have dent corn in them, given the higher starch content.

Many eat corn across the US, so it’s best to know which types will yield the best results when you decide to grow your crops. Remember these corn types grown in the US and create golden opportunities with this starch, one row at a time.

5 Different Types of Corn Grown in the US