Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

From the latest tomato tips to sweetcorn calamities, share your experiences in the garden.
SJB
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Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby SJB » Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:10 pm

My buddy has hatched a crazy scheme to raise an acre of sweetcorn to sell. We got 4 boys between us, he figured it'll be a learning experience, blah blah blah.

I ain't opposed, except for one small problem. I've never done it. Luckily, this is not the first time I've never not done something before!

I've got soil samples out, I've got a couple good local varieties, talked to the guys at the feed n seed, etc, and got their input.

Does anybody have any first hand advice, as to how you work your soil? Do you plant with a corn planter or some other method? What decides when you plant - time of year, soil temp, etc? How deep do you plant?

Pretty much any advice on the prep and planting phase would be appreciated.
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Re: Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby JMJ Farms » Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:51 pm

Unless you've got a strip till rig I'd reccomend breaking the ground then harrowing (disking) then planting. I like 36-38 inch rows. Corn needs a lot of water. If you've got a way to keep it watered you can space your plants at 4-6" apart. If you can't water it, you need to space the plants 12" apart. For the record I'm not a professional corn farmer, but I've planted a good bit over the years. Best advice I can give you is find a successful farmer in your area and ask him what's he's learned over the years. Should be fun for you and the kids.
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Re: Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby Bigfoot » Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:53 pm

I work the ground good, and keep it plowed out, as long as I can get through it. I put skip rows. Makes it easier with my set up to spray, and gives you a lane to drive down when picking. You don't want to plant the acre all at once. When the oaks in your area just begin to leave, it's time to plant.

What are you planning on for weed control?
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Re: Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby Ol' 243 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:00 pm

Bigfoot wrote:
What are you planning on for weed control?


With those 4 boys he was talking about, I'd just get a couple hoe's. Might help em stay away from ho's. :D
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Re: Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby Bigfoot » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:02 pm

It'll need chopped out every week, if you don't spray it.
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Re: Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby Kingfisher » Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:34 am

6 for $1 at HEB....;).
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Re: Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby M-5 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:49 am

JMJ Farms wrote:Unless you've got a strip till rig I'd reccomend breaking the ground then harrowing (disking) then planting. I like 36-38 inch rows. Corn needs a lot of water. If you've got a way to keep it watered you can space your plants at 4-6" apart. If you can't water it, you need to space the plants 12" apart. For the record I'm not a professional corn farmer, but I've planted a good bit over the years. Best advice I can give you is find a successful farmer in your area and ask him what's he's learned over the years. Should be fun for you and the kids.

Corn here is already 4" tall. Planting depth is relevant to moisture. When planting dryland corn I use an opening shovel and plant in the furrow. I like to but a band of ammonia nitrate when I lay it by. Then add another band at 12" high. Like jmj eluded to lots of water.
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Re: Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby skyhightree1 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:52 am

My personal advice would be get you a cultivator for the corn and also I like to hill my corn so a hiller as well. I like to side dress my sweet corn.
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Re: Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby SJB » Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:22 pm

the more organic it is the more i can sell it for at the hippy market. i'm thinking about mulching in between with something. if not, like mentioned, 4 boys with hoes!

i've got easy plentiful water. thanks for the tips, keep 'em coming...
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Re: Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby skyhightree1 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:48 pm

Corn is an expensive crop overall to grow... Will you be using any fertilizer? chemicals? etc
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Re: Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby skyhightree1 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:56 pm

SJB I met a local produce farmer who had basically told me all the trade secrets to his 500 acre veggie farm. A local friend told him to contact me if he needed help so he did and hes been planting ideas in my head and wants to get started with raising organic beef and chickens then pork. He told me and showed me his financials on one acre of land where he made 38k on that one acre planting 3 crops.

Grow a Business in Your Garden

by Thomas N. Tomas

Growing vegetables on a small scale can lead to a successful enterprise for a farm. It can also be a good way to involve your kids in the farming operation, and to teach them entrepreneurial skills that they will use for the rest of their lives. I have two words of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: start small, and start young.

START SMALL

An acre of sweet corn can produce 18,000 ears of corn. That’s 1,500 dozen. If we sell them at $2.00 per dozen, that’s $3,000. Now if we raise 100 acres expecting to get $3,000 per acre, that’s where we get in trouble.

An acre of sweet corn can be a profit center for the farm. One hundred acres of sweet corn will be a profit center for the machinery dealer, the banker, the shipper, the packaging salesman, and the retailer, among others. They will get their money up front, and you will get the same worries you would get with 3,000 acres of field corn.

An acre of sweet corn can usually be produced and marketed with resources you already have. It can usually be sold within your surrounding community. The risk is low and the potential for a cash profit is high. If you start small and grow to the potential of your market, it may become a significant profit center for your farm.
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SJB
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Re: Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby SJB » Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:44 pm

skyhightree1 wrote:Corn is an expensive crop overall to grow... Will you be using any fertilizer? chemicals? etc


I'm not sure about fertilizer and chemicals yet. I've got soil samples out, so I'll know more when that comes back. I'll probably at least mix some in, some lime if needed, and the. Side dress at least once. Some people apparently side dress twice. I'm not sure if I'm that serious about it yet.

I don't want to ruffle any feathers, but what I've found out is most people do things a certain way, because that's just the way they've always done them. Or that's how their daddy did it, etc.

And sometimes, that's the best way. But I've gotten so much opposite information from people locally, I'm pretty much gonna wing it.

After all, we're just looking for something to try. If it doesn't work out, no huge deal. I'm guessing by year 4 or 5, if we stick with it, we'll not only know how to do it, but we'll also know why we do it that way.
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Re: Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby skyhightree1 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:01 am

no feathers to ruffle here I just wondered what your plans were and how you were going to do it. I thought about doing corn before but I prefer sweet potatoes.
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Re: Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby SJB » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:32 pm

I guess it is high, seed alone for an acre will be -$150. I got virgin ground so maybe my input needs won't be that high this first year.

I'm going to try to rotate and cover crop to help offset fertilizer costs all I can. I may not make a bushels worth but it'll be fun to try.
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Re: Sweet corn tips, pointers, suggestions

Postby skyhightree1 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:34 pm

Go for it a dollar and a dream is all it takes sometimes.. Let me know how turns out.
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