Jacqueline Jackson>ISM Interviews A-L>ISM Interviews A-L, Segment 31
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- Talks about origin and history of corn. Native Americans developed strains. Europeans developed strains by picking the best looking ears for seed. Work at University of Wisconsin in 1923 hybrid corn work by inbreeding. After eight generations, they had a stunted but better ear. Hybrid vigor showed up. Test plots to farmers in 1934. Her father and grandfather participated. Purchased strain, crossed and re-crossed it. Resulted in more corn and lack of diversity. Southern leaf blight gene bred in; weather good enough so the US crop lost only 15 per cent. Develop corn to fit your growing season. Dougan hybrids (her farm) tried one year, raised by hand, shelled it into a blanket. Held a field day to show the corn off. Raise corn from 55 competitors & 120 strains from the university. Viewers could compare. 1952 had three professors talk about it on swine, soil, and corn. Measures to repel pests. Hired people to patrol crops from raccoons. Dried the corn at a house. Make a corn dolly with thick cotton squares with a seed each, wet and rolled up, wait to germinate. Business grew to more fields of corn, and gangs of detasselers. More seed growers, then shrank because big companies had more resources. Now eight companies count for 80 per cent of all corn.