I found this plant in my sweet corn patch. It captured my attention, because the ear is at the top of the plant with the tassel. It must be a genetic throwback to when corn was just another tall grass. Normally, the ear is located one-third to one-half way up the stalk.
And I realized this is the reason corn can be so productive compared to other grains such as wheat, oats, or barley. On our farm, corn can produce more than 9,000 lbs. per acre. Oats only produces about 3,000 lbs. per acre.
Corn carries all of the grain weight lower on the stalk. All other grasses and grains that I know of carry their grain weight at the top of the stalk. This causes them to be susceptible to lodging or breaking over.
Here is a picture of some of our lodged oats. More of a challenge to harvest, but we finished harvesting the oats last Wednesday.