2001 - Volume #25, Issue #5, Page #05[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
How To Tell How Many Rows There Are On Any Ear Of CornThe following tidbit first appeared in FARM SHOW 22 years ago. We're reprinting it at the request of a reader:
Harold Noren of DeKalb Seed has long mystified friends with his ability to tell how many rows there are on any ear of corn without having to count them. Finally, we got him to share his secret.
First you must keep in mind that all ears of corn have an even number of rows, never an odd number. All average ears have between 12 and 20 rows. Still, it's difficult to tell at a glance whether an ear has 14, 16, 18, or 20 rows.
But Harold can. His years in the business have taught him that another rule applies. It's this: No one seems to know why, but if the rows on an ear are straight, the total number of rows is always divisible by 4 - thereby yielding either 16 or 20 rows per ear on most corn varieties.
But if the rows twist around the ear, Harold knows the number of rows on that ear can never be divided by 4 - the twisted row ear will always have 14 or 18 rows. Once you know those two things, the rest just becomes a matter of experience, says Harold. And he continues to amaze experts by hefting an ear, then quickly announcing the correct number of rows.
What he does is first check to see if the rows are straight or twisted. Then, he simply notes whether the ear is big enough to contain the upper or lower limit of rows and announces the number of rows. Got it?
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