Crop Name: Corn

Scientific Name: Zea mays L.

Family Name: Poaceae

Cultivar Groups: Dent, Flint, Pod, Pop, Soft, Sweet, Waxy

Warm season or cool season:  Warm season – grown in the summer, planted in May


Space between plants/between rows: 10-12” between plants, 36” between rows

Fertility Requirements:

  • Soil: silt or clay, pH of 6.5-6.8 (lime), temperature of 55-68 °F
  • High amounts of nitrogen and/or potash can damage the seed
  • 25 lbs of 10-10-10 fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet

Watering Needs:

  • Requires ample water (roughly 1” of water per week), but must be well drained
  • Water is most critical 2 weeks prior to silk formation

Number of days from seed to transplant and/or seed to harvest: Seed to harvest: 70-80 days to maturity

Planting Instructions: Direct seeding


Potential Pests:

  • European Corn Borer
  • Cutworms
  • Corn Earworm
  • Japanese Beetle
  • Corn Leaf Aphid

Insect Pests Controls:

Plant Pathogens:

  • Smut
  • Northern Corn Leaf Blight
  • Stalk Rot
  • Rust


When Ready to Harvest: when milky stage is reached, typically 16-22 days after silking. Milky stage only lasts 1-2 days, leaving a short window for harvest.

How to Harvest: Ears are easily removed from the stalk, pull down and twist off.

Optimal Time of Day to Harvest: Ears should be harvested early in the morning when temperatures are cool and field heat is minimal.

Best Method to Cool Crop: Hydrocooling (using water), icing, and cold storage using refrigeration are all common methods of cooling the crop. Hydrocooling is the most common method for precooling (immediately after harvest) prior to refrigeration. During transportation, corn is typically kept on ice.

Optimal Storage Temperature and Relative Humidity: 32-34° F, with the highest acceptable temperature being 40° F. Optimal relative humidity is between 95-98%.

Possible Storage Life: Storage life is very short due to high rates of cellular respiration and the conversion of sugars to starches. Typically storage life is 5-7 days, super sweet varieties have a slightly longer storage life at 8-12 days.

Common Post-Harvest Losses/Problems: physical damage and pest and pathogen damage. Alternatively, sweet corn is not easily susceptible to chilling injury.

Average Yields: 6,000-7,000 lbs/acre

Farm to YouNH Crop Data:

Year Crop Variety Date Planted Date Harvested Days to Harvest Total Yield (lbs) Yield (lbs/sq. ft)
2017 Corn N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

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