Farmer Finds Perfect Ear Of Corn
You could spend a lifetime searching for the perfect ear of corn and never find one. But John Middlekoop, retired Packwood, Iowa, farmer and seed corn producer, found one in his 1979 crop. The perfect ear had 16 rows, perfectly straight, and no missing kernels.
Middlekoop had been looking for a perfect ear all his adult life while he sorted corn in his business, and while judging corn at county fairs and the Iowa State Fair.
"There are a lot of ears that come close," he says, "but even the prize-winners are not perfect. The rows may be crooked, and there are usually kernels missing."
Middlekoop says the perfect ear has no value in breeding: "It would not keep on producing perfect offspring. It's perfect because all of the proper growing conditions just happened to come together at the same time."
Corn ears can have from 10 to 26 rows, says Middlekoop, but a 20-row ear is considered ideal for showing in a competition.
Middlekoop has had some good offers to buy his perfect ear of corn, but says he will keep it. It will take an honored place among the 400 "nearly perfect" ears he has collected over the years.

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1980 - Volume #4, Issue #5