You Can Hear The Corn Grow in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa
The other day I took a trip out of town and as I was driving along I saw how the corn is making its seasonal appearance. We were talking about it, and it reminded me of something that happened years ago.
So there I am, a little farm kid. Now truth-be-known, this was a few more than a few years ago. OK, it was several decades ago. Anyway, there I am with my Dad and a few of the other 'old boys', those old farmers that always had a lot of what I would call 'old farm sayings'.
Yes, they had a bunch. I remember one they used to talk about when it was pouring rain...it had to do with a cow and a flat rock. But that's for another time.
One I remember them fella's talking about was how you could hear corn grow. I mean, how you could literally hear corn grow out in the field. They'd be talking about how after a good soaking rain, if the sun came out good and hot the next day, you could stand in a corn field and hear the corn grow.
I knew what they were doing...they wanted to get this snot-nosed punk kid to stand out in the field while they watched and laughed and laughed and laughed.
Hear corn grow. I'm not that dumb.
And apparently they weren't either!
According to Agfax you actually can hear corn grow!
Now, it all seems a little more complicated than my Dad and his friends related to me but part of the article states:
University of Illinois crop physiologist Fred Below told DTN there’s more truth than fiction to the old adage. One really can hear corn grow. “On very still nights you can hear a popping or cracking noise,” said Below. “It occurs around the V15 growth stage and what you hear is the cell walls of the stalk expanding. Mostly I believe it is the tracheids (the specialized water-conducting tissues of the xylex), which are expanding.”
There's a lot more interesting stuff in the article and you can read it here, but suffice to say while I thought those old codgers were trying to trick a young kid, they may have known exactly what they were talking about.