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Maximizing Sweet Corn

Sweet corn is a popular crop for earning extra money off the land. In my area there are sweet corn stands everywhere during the summer and the crop commands a good price. Having full, juicy ears of corn that customers will buy again and again requires your attention all season long from planting till harvest.

Don Stork is with Stoller USA. He says a profitable sweet corn crop starts now by learning about the genetic potential of the corn variety and taking care of the seed.

"One is an in-furrow treatment when they plant their seed or right close to each side beside the seed, and/or a seed treatment. A material we can use that works very successful is an EPA-registered product called Stimulate," says Stork. "That’s a hormone product that works with our NPK and micronutrients to maximize that genetic expression of that seed."

As the sweet corn grows it’s going to face heat, cold, too much rain or too little, which can be devastating to the crop. Stork recommends meeting with your seed advisor and coming up with a strategic plan to handle challenges that come up during the growing season.

"We get a good plan at the beginning and follow that through in key steps. The start early grow phase when the seed goes into the ground before it emerges. Small plant, 8”-12” tall early vegetative stage, and then reproductive stage," he says. "We emphasize those three periods in a plant’s life and if a person can do that, they can get ahead of the game."

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