WHAT IS MAIZE?
Maize (Zea mays), known in many English-speaking countries as corn, is a grass domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The term maize derives from the Spanish form of the indigenous Taino word maiz for the plant. This was the term used in the United Kingdom and Ireland, where it is now usually called “sweet corn”, the most common form of the plant known to people there. Sweet corn is harvested earlier and eaten as a vegetable rather than a grain.
The Aztecs and Mayans cultivated it in numerous varieties throughout central and southern Mexico, to cook or grind. Later the crop spread through much of the Americas. Between 1250 and 1700, nearly the whole continent had gained access to the crop. Any significant or dense populations in the region developed a great 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 through trade.
Maize spread to the rest of the world due to its popularity and ability to grow in diverse climates.
Articles on MAIZE
in INFORMED FARMERS
To go directly to quality information on Maize please click on the article name coloured Blue