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Iowa Corn Growers Association
Happy National Corn Chips Day!   page banner

Happy National Corn Chips Day!

Posted on January 29, 2014 at 11:29 AM by Iowa Corn

Approximately 3% of US corn production is for human consumption (cornstarch, chips, corn syrup), of that, white corn accounts for less than 1%. However, demand for white corn is increasing as the love for Mexican-style dishes and chips with salsa grows. The US production is about 80 million bushels and we export about 35 million bushels of white corn. Texas and Nebraska produce the most, but you can also find white corn growing in Indiana, Illinois, and of course, Iowa.

Growing white corn takes special conditions including isolation, specific handling instructions, low temperature drying and special kernel care. This extra work is often offset with a premium of about 30-60 cents over the more commonly grown yellow corn. A while corn farmer can see additional premiums based on certain characteristics such as hardness, cleanliness, kernel size, and color- the same process that many fruits, vegetables, and meats go through- called grading.

You might recognize several major brands Frito Lay, Quaker Oats, and Archer Daniels who process and sell white corn through food items like tortillas, tortilla chips, corn chips, tostados, and tacos. And, on this special National Corn Chips Day, special thanks goes to Frito Lay for first marketing the corn chip in 1961. On behalf of Iowa’s white corn farmers, we encourage you to enjoy your favorite corn chips and salsa today.

Farmer Darrel McAlexander served on the Iowa Corn Promotion Board from 1999-2010. Along with a small group of farmers nearby, Darrel has taken a stab at growing white corn. He also works through the US Grains Council to build market relationships for all corn in Mexico and other key places around the globe. In his spare time, he likes to promote the great Sidney Rodeo in his hometown.

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