seed corn


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seed corn

1. Literally, the seed of corn that is kept aside from a harvest in order to plant for the following year's production. The hens got loose and ate up all of our seed corn. I don't know what we'll do for next year's harvest!
2. By extension, that which drives or supports future use, growth, or development, as opposed to that which is used immediately or in the present. Sometimes hyphenated when used as a modifier before a noun. Research, even that which doesn't lead to anything profitable, is the seed corn of this industry. The investment firm provides seed-corn financing to small business ventures.
3. A very small, painful callous that typically appears on the weight-bearing part of one's foot. I can't believe I got a seed corn right before the big marathon! I don't know how I'll be able to run it.
See also: corn, seed

seed corn

If someone talks about seed corn, they mean resources or people that will produce benefits in the future rather than immediately. Investment in the industry, the seed corn of future output, has fallen by 75 percent. Note: If people eat their seed corn, they use up their valuable resources, and this will prevent them from being able to do things in the future. A society that's unwilling to invest in its future is a society that's living off capital. It's eating its seed corn. Note: A farmer's seed corn is the grain that is used for planting rather than being sold or eaten.
See also: corn, seed
References in periodicals archive ?
The area features a frost-free period for seed corn production that rivals the Midwest United States, with temperatures and precipitation moderated by the surrounding Great Lakes.
For the past decade New York State, through its budgeting practices, has been eating its seed corn by acting only with an eye to the short term.
The choice is between, as I like to say, "Money now is always better than money later" and "Are you eating the seed corn of the future?"
Suketoshi Taba encountered this change in attitude when he tried to head off an apparent crisis affecting seed corn in gene banks throughout Latin America.
Rubin, Balancing the Federal Budget: Trimming the Herds or Eating the Seed Corn?, Chatham House Publishers, January 2003, ISBN 1-889119-62-8, 318 pages, paper.
Looking back at this lengthy period of downsizing, Rubin asks: Did the government merely eat the seed corn or did it succeed in trimming the herds?
The list now includes sorghum wheat, soft wheat, seed corn, durum wheat and rye.
The article quotes comments by John Douglas, president of the Aerospace Industries Association, delivered at the association's annual forecast luncheon: "This part of our economy is the seed corn for 11 percent [that commercial aviation contributes] to our gross domestic product and about 11 million jobs across the U.S.
"Virtually all of the seed corn in this country has at least a trace of GMO contamination and often more.
Wants: bloody butcher seed corn and bitter melon seeds.
The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) said that "very low levels" of this year's seed corn were contaminated with the Cry9c protein of StarLink corn.
In speaking for the settling stares, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has said it was "irresponsible" for Aventis to market the StarLink seed corn with unrealistic restrictions -- including that there must be at least 660-foot "buffer strips" between StarLink and other planted corn, and that StarLink grain had to be kept segregated from other corn.
Chocophobes might want to consider the 1.6 million pounds of seed corn available in Iowa.
Hawaii has developed a national reputation for producing high-quality seed corn. It is also an industry with thin profit margins and lots of competition.
Pioneer affixes tags to its bags of hybrid seed corn which define a limited license acquired with the purchase of its bags.