Tech by VICE

Soothe Yourself With This Timelapse of Corn Growing

The life cycle America's most popular crop in 60 seconds.

by Madison Margolin
Oct 17 2016, 11:41pm

Image: Laura Thompson/YouTube

Corn is the most popular crop (by acres planted) in the United States, but probably only a few of us have ever seen it grow. Now you can make up for lost time and watch an entire grow season in one minute.

Nebraska corn farmer Dean Stevens took a photo of a corn field every day at 1 pm for 162 days, while Laura Thompson, "CropWatch" educator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, mashed the images together for this short video.

Below each image, the date and temperature stamp lets the audience know where in the grow cycle the corn crops are, and how they're reacting to the climate and environment.

For example, on June 15, 2016, the temperature went up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point the plants were fully green and the leaves curled for several days. Then in July, they endured windstorms and pollination, leaving the dusty gold pollen on the leaves. Late in summer, the leaves became diseased, but the plants made it through. By September, the corn ears husked back and dropped within a week, ready to be harvested.

The season began May 3 and lasted until October 8, 2016. Usually corn buds emerge within about five days of being planted, and within nine or ten weeks of emergence, pollination occurs. The life cycle for corn is very quick, as the plants grow to their full sizes only over the course of the summer and part of spring and fall. Hence, by late October and Thanksgiving, corn is one of the staple foods for the season.

So if you find yourself chowing down on any corn-related dishes this season (shoutout for cornbread), take a minute and remember all the effort it took to get it to your plate.

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