No matter the type of corn you grow—sweet, waxy, pop, flint, or flour—it yields numerous benefits and profits to your farm. Corn frequently appears in various dinner spreads, from family cookouts to Thanksgiving dinners. It adds a pop of color and juicy flavors to a plate, making a great tasty side dish or added ingredient feature. Before they end up on the dinner table or wherever their final destination lies, these stemmed grains undergo quite a process, like many tasty goods. Their growth and life span include sowing, growing, harvesting, and transporting, with a couple of other steps in between. On top of nurturing your corn crops from seedlings, as their caretaker, securing their travels and new home also falls into your hands. Corn ends up in numerous destinations, from grocery stores to manufacturing sites, transforming into flour, syrup, or oil.
But how is corn harvested and transported to our stores and facilities? What kind of packaging is used? Here is a simple guide on corn production, including counting, harvesting, and transporting.
Best Growing PracticesCorn flourishes in the regular growing season. It loves sunlight, hates frost, and thrives off of a large appetite for water and nutrients. The ideal time of the year to plant it is between spring and summer, around late April and early May. Since corn is highly susceptible to the cold, you want to make sure its soil is free from frost and in direct sunlight. When planting, make sure to keep the seeds 3 to 4 inches apart in a row and 1 inch deep into the soil for optimized growth. Typically after 20 days, the corn ears grow and await harvest.
Benefits of Growing and Selling CornThere are many benefits of growing corn. It’s a prolific crop, removes carbon dioxide from the air, and can be used in many applications. Aside from being a delicious treat as a stand-alone product, maize also provides various versatile uses. It creates other kitchen finds like popcorn, flour, syrup, and oil. Sometimes, it ends up in beauty products and other household items too. Their versatility makes them a hot commodity and a profitable crop to yield on your farm. They produce numerous fruitful batches, creating large inventories of harvest, further profiting your farming business. Plus, corn comes in different forms, the seven major ones being:
How To Count CornDid you know you can estimate your corn yield by counting the kernels on an ear? Like any other business exchange, supply and demand play an important role in selling your corn, as much as how much corn your crop harvest yields affects your profits. Knowing your supply of inventory helps you meet demands, especially those of business consumers looking to manufacture the corn into another product. Counting your corn also aids your crop management. It allows you to calculate lost produce and alerts you on any issues, from diseases to insects and general planting mishaps. Counting corn comes with various challenges. When maize grows, it creates dense rows of stems that sometimes stretch over 12 feet tall. Their compact placements and fruitful blossoms make assessing your crop yield difficult. The more rows you planted, the thicker your crop collection, and the harder it is to assess your inventory. However, certain counting methods save you lots of time, giving you an accurate estimate of your stock. One method of calculating crop yield includes gaining an average from the total ears, kernel columns, and rows from a selected bushel. Assuming that your selected sprouted stem mirrors a majority of the other corn plants in your plot, you can count your corn like this. After collecting the total of kernels in an ear, multiply that by the total ears in your acre, and divide that total by the number of bushels on your plot. The total number you calculate gives you an approximated average of your corn supply yield. To gain the most accurate count, select a bushel in the middle of your plot. The ones on the outside get more light and produce more ears than a majority of your corn crops in the plot.
How To Harvest Corn
How you harvest your corn depends on the number of plots you own. Smaller batches don’t require any fancy equipment. They just need good old-fashioned hand labor, simply involving ripping the ears off each stem. In larger crop fields, you’ll benefit from using heavy-duty machinery like a harvester or grain combine. So how do you know when the corn is ready for harvest? There are various methods to assess the ripeness of your crops. One of the easiest ways of judging your maize’s maturity is looking at the ear’s tassels. Green fibrous strings represent young corn that still needs time to mature, while brown and yellow tassels indicate fully-grown and matured ones. Another way to test your corn’s maturity includes evaluating the kernels. Carefully peeling back the ear’s outer layers exposes the kernels, allowing you to see the crop’s ripeness. Bright and pigmented kernels often represent mature corn. However, judging the brightness and pigments of tri-color or non-generic corn like purple and red ones poses more difficulty. The last best practice for knowing your crop’s harvest status includes piercing the kernels and evaluating the juice it secretes. The milkier the liquid, the better.
To harvest corn, you’ll need big equipment, like a combine, but you’ll also need bags and boxes to store the many ears of corn.
How To Transport Corn
Regardless of the final destination or crop, most harvested goods are transported the same way: via barge, train, or truck. Usually, the collection of corn supply gets placed in pellet boxes, ensuring the corn ears don’t run out and roll away. Using corn bags to store your crops further ensures they don’t move while in transport, stay protected from external influences, and remain in quality condition. After being plucked from its stem, fresh corn needs to stay moist to preserve its plump juicy kernels and stay in quality condition, free from rot. Securing them in a bag keeps the heat out, moisture in, and some circulation ventilating through. Plus, it makes handling large quantities easier. Once packed and stored away in the appropriate vehicle, it gets transported away to manufacturers, packaging plants, and stores, completing your corn cycle. Corn provides multiple functionalities in society, from being an edible food to an ingredient in shampoo. Learning how to count, harvest, and transport corn ensures you optimize your maize production, reaping the fruitful rewards of farming corn and its versatility. As with any item grown on your farm, make sure your corn receives optimal care from the sowing period to its transportation journey. That will maximize its quality, allowing you to fully profit from its yield.
You can learn more about corn counting, harvesting, and transporting by exploring our blogs.