Just like harvesting Sugarbeet and Potato, harvesting Corn involves the need to purchase a different type of tool or machine to complete the harvest. According to the website for the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, these devices are built of rows of three to six conveyors that harvest corn still on the stalk, strip the corn of its unusable components and spit them out through a cleaning sieve.
Super sweet varieties have been developed to slow down the conversion of the natural sugars into starch, which makes these varieties last longer on the stalk, and helps them retain their flavor for a few days once harvested. Corn silage is a grass plant containing digestible fiber with high-moisture corn attached.
Initial investment is relatively low, and many field operations - such as land preparation, planting and harvesting - can be custom-hired. A Purdue University article cited that yield losses of 0.6% to 1.6% per point of moisture can occur from leaving corn to dry in the field.
As far as companion plants, corn and potatoes do fine, although corn is a heavy feeder, while potatoes are medium feeders and do better without as much nitrogen (which encourages foliage rather than tuber formation). In addition, no-till reduces soil moisture loss early in the season so more water is available for corn growth later in the season.
However, we still need to get this corn crop out of the field and safely deliver it to market. An old saying is to plant corn when oak leaves are the size of squirrel ears. After plowing the land, what is left to do is to plant corn seeds into the Corn On The Cob field. To do so, you should gather 10 plants from multiple field locations and then chop the plants in a chipper or shredder.
No matter what soil types, weather conditions and pest pressures you encounter, there's a Golden Harvest corn hybrid that's right for you. Since the price of corn is lower, it's very tempting to let the corn stay in the field and dry down to save on drying cost.
However, there is considerable variation in the progression of the kernel milk line and the moisture percentage of the whole plant. If harvested late, the cob is low in digestibility, resulting in a feed with lower energy content relative to dry grain. After harvesting, bring nutrition back into the garden bed in by planting a cover crop in place of the corn plants during the off season.
»Never attempt to pull a stalk free from an operating harvester, you cannot let go of a stalk in time if the machine clears itself. As described in the chapter Making Good Corn Silage”, the moisture content critically affects silage fermentation and preservation.
At physiological maturity the kernels contain 30 to 35% moisture, the ear corn will contain 40 to 65% moisture, and the whole plant will contain 62 to 68% moisture or 32 to 38% dry matter. Sixty to 65 percent dry matter, with 35 to 40 percent moisture (for the harvested material), is best.
Immediately after harvest, you should refrigerate and store sweet corn in plastic bags, preferably while still in the husk, to maintain quality. They take advantage of the natural conversion process and don't harvest corn until it's somewhat doughy from the increased starch content.