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Explore the States Iowa
Photo of Fred Maschman 1939
A farmer husking corn in Iowa

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Iowa's Most Popular Crop
About 90 percent of Iowa's land is dedicated to farming. In addition to producing soybeans and raising livestock, the state grows corn in great quantities. Much of its economy is based on the production of corn and corn byproducts -- popcorn, corn oil, corn syrup, cornmeal, cornstarch, and animal feed.

Corn, also known as maize, was grown in the Americas long before the European explorers arrived. It was an important source of food for many native peoples. Scientists believe that corn originated in Mexico thousands of years ago and that Native Americans cultivated it from a wild grass commonly known as teosinte. Archaeologists have found traces of corn that are 5,300 years old.

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