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11 ears on one plant? Let’s just say it doesn’t happen every day

By David Knopf, News Editor

T. C. Hewlett’s no stranger to a corn field. An employee for over a decade for Henrietta farmer Aaron Hicks, Hewlett said he was in the field doing routine work – checking irrigators –when something caught his eye.
The “something” was a corn plant with more than the usual single ear. There’s no explaining it – at least for someone who hasn’t studied plant science – but the plant he saw had produced 11 ears.
That’s right, just one shy of a dozen.
“I’m 74 and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Hewlett. “I just turned around and there it was by the irrigator.”
Hewlett showed the plant to Hicks, who suggested he bring it to the newspaper for a photo.
John Graverson, grain merchandiser for Ray-Carroll County Grain Growers, agreed Hewlett’s find was well out of the ordinary.
“It’s an anomaly, a freak of nature,” Graverson said. “Most years a plant will put on one ear, and in an unusual one two, but even then the second ear won’t be as big as the first.”
Hewlett said he could only wonder about the yield potential if all corn plants were that fertile.

Finding a corn plant with 11 ears is so unusual that T.C. Hewlett counted them again and again just to be sure. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News)

Finding a corn plant with 11 ears is so unusual that T.C. Hewlett counted them again and again just to be sure. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News)

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