Corn harvest, part 3

Larry G. Field
Thursday, October 10, 2019
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Some people process corn. When processing, 2.63 ears based on the past 4 year average production (with the varieties & techniques I use) will yield one pint. One fully ripened ear, if eaten as corn on the cob, will be much more tuff than a younger ear, but when cut from the cob to process will yield about 4 times more corn volume (than a young ear) of quality processed corn. Other than the cabbage family veggies, corn is the most predictable garden crop. Years ago I created an algebraic equation for determining how much corn one should plant. I no longer use it because I have learned that we will use this much corn: One 30’ row spaced 7” for fresh corn plus the following depending on what, if any, we plan to process: One row for frozen corn, two rows for mixed veg and three rows if we plan to process both. I will present my equation in a series of simple math examples since some readers may be rusty on their algebra. You may get different results based on your varieties and techniques so gather data for a minimum of one year prior to depending on this math and again gather data another year if you switch corn varieties. 1. Multiply ft of row by 12 inches for inches of row (360 in my case, imc). 2. Divide row inches by spacing (7” imc) to determine the number of corn plants per row (51/row imc). 3. Multiply plant # by 1.5 ears/plant to determine number of ears to be produced by one row (75 ears/per row, imc).

4. Divide # of ears by 2.63 to determine the number of pints of corn to be produced (28 pts/row imc). Adjust the size of your corn crop accordingly; including corn for eating fresh.

If I were to apply this formula I could solve or adjust any of the variables. Let us assume that I wish to eat corn once a week for the year. I would need 4 ears per week of fresh picked corn for the 6 late summer weeks and one pint of processed corn per week for the remaining 46 weeks. My 30’ row produces 28 pts, 1.1 row ft/ pt. I would plant 50’ of corn to freeze 46 pints. My 30’ row produces 75 ears so I would plant an additional 10’ of row for fresh corn. I would need a total of 60 ft of corn, two of my 30’ rows. My corn crop is always constant, 25% of the crop, regardless of how much I plant, is each of the following four varieties: Kandy Corn, Kandy King, Peaches and cream and Double Delicious. Using the same percentage of the same four variety (same spacing, fertilizing, etc) keeps my calculations accurate. Regardless of varieties and variables, this formula should be useable for predicting; with changes in plant spacing causing the largest variation.

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