Is There Talk in Your Corn Stalk?

Across the U.S. corn is the leading grain product. Over 350 million tons of corn are harvested yearly. Corn is used in a multitude of food and industrial processes ranging anywhere in sweeteners, oils, alcohol, and to food. But what you don’t know about corn is that it can talk. There is an old farmer’s tale that states, “On a quiet night you can hear the corn grow.” This seems odd but it is true. Corn growth in the Midwest has seen a rapid growth rate.

The sound that corn makes as it grows is like the noise it makes when the corn is broken, a popping or cracking. This sound is made during the V15 growth stage. During this stage the cell wall of the corn stalks are expanding causing you to hear the noise. Research have found that this is because of the tracheids expanding. These are the specialized water conducting tissues of the xylexx. From the V8 to V15 Stage grow up to 3 inches per day. Other sources how found results from using mechanical engineering tools and techniques. By using these tools, they have found astonishing results. By using special sensor microphones. During the growth process, there are millions of tiny material breakages. This is then creating the corn the quickly repair the broken area. This cause the are to become fragile and easy to brake again. Because of this continuous cycle of repairing and breaking the corn plant can grow taller and taller.

This causes a problem for the corn. Because of all the breakages it is cause many crops like corn to be lost during wind damage. Engineers and scientist have been working on the plants structures to try and improve the plants structural development so that the plants structure can support the rapid growth periods of time.

In conclusion, products like corn experience rapids amount of growth in parts of their growth stages. The cell wall expands at a rapid growth causing the rapid repairing and breaking of the tracheids in the corn a popping or cracking noise can be heard. This also cause the corn stalks to become fragile and unable to support it structure. Because of this problem in the corn stalking to has come to the scientists and researcher’s attention that the corn truly is talking.


  • Acousticsorg. “Can You Hear the Corn Grow? Yes!” EurekAlert! N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.
  • “Corn Growth Explodes – And You Really Can Hear It – DTN.” AgFax. N.p., 28 Nov. 2016. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

About Mr. Mohn

Biology Teacher

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