In 2000, Illinois farmers planted around 11 million acres of corn. A farmer who, like Rip Van Winkle, fell asleep in 1940 and awoke in 2000 would not recognize the cornfields. Stalks grow dense, leaves pointed skyward. The ears hang perfectly, each ear exactly the same height as its neighbor.

With the development of proprietary hybrids, corn genetics became big business. Genetic engineering added a new concern as altered Bt genes showed up in the food supply, threatening both domestic and foreign corn markets.

The deep prairie soils nurture bumper crops of corn and soybeans. In the monocropped landscape of the 21st century, vast fields stretch to the horizon.

More information on crop statistics and on Bt corn
© D. Gorton 2001
Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) Corn at Harvest, Near Sigel,
Cumberland County
D. Gorton's Home Page
Jane Adams' Home Page
Memory and Judgment: Mississippi
The White South
Contact Us
This page was last modified on:
Go back to previous page