Keeping Sweetcorn Sweet

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Sweetcorn is a great part of summer. But it takes effort and resources to keep it top quality.

 

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A couple challenges that face sweet corn growers are caterpillars and birds.

 

 

Corn Earworm, which is not really a worm, but a caterpillar will enter the ear at time of silk when adult moths’ mate and lay eggs.

 

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The eggs hatch and the larvae eat its way down the top of the ear.

 

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Trapping allows the farmer an opportunity to see the insect pressure and spray accordingly. Farmers may have to spray every 5-7 days to protect the corn.

 

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This helps to keep the corn worm free.

 

Another challenge for the farmer is birds. Many farmers will use a cannon to discharge what sound like a shotgun.

 

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This helps to deter the birds. These fire at a 30-45 second interval during daylight hours which can annoy neighbors.

 

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Cannon in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n87B6sZHESU

 

 

Although the worms will not hurt you and the top of the corn can easily be cut off, most customers want worm free corn.

 

Birds can also present problems for grape growers who will use the propane cannons as well.

 

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This may explain why sweetcorn can cost $6, $7, or $8 a dozen ears.

 

But it sure tastes great. Enjoy, it won’t be around for long!