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Commercial sweet corn growers
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Posted 7/12/2019 13:02 (#7610715 - in reply to #7609184)
Subject: RE: Commercial sweet corn growers

Garland Maine
My opinion is that the shorter season stuff just isn’t quite as good as the longer season stuff, at least here.

The varieties that are chosen for good early growth and emergence in cold souls just aren’t the same caliber as the full season varieties. I have tried quite a few varieties and keep coming back to my favorites that just grow well for us, and are really sweet.

It also depends on how quickly it gets cooled after picking. We pick into small boxes, and put it into the walk in cooler at 38 degrees just as soon as we can after picking, Generally within an hour. My cousin that grows for the big chain picks and bags it, and cools with water mist spray, which isn’t quite as cold and takes longer. All that time that corn spends at ambient temperatures ages it faster.

Sugar level in a plant also varies with the time of day. I remember a study on mowing grass for hay where the most sugar was in the plant at 4pm. Since corn is a grass I figure the same applies. Connect that with my line above about proper cooling, and we pick corn from 4 to 6 pm for sale the next morning. This gives it a chance to get all of the field heat out while in the cooler overnight.

I compare the results quite favorably to another vendor at the markets I go to whose claim to fame is that it is picked fresh that morning. His was picked at 6 am on a warm day, and brought straight to market. Mine was picked 12 hours earlier but spent that time in at 36 degrees. At noon when the market Ian drawing to a close his corn has been sitting around at ambient temperatures for 6 hours, and the sugar has had 6 hours to convert to starch. Mine is just getting to ambient temp after 6 hours out of the cooler. Still fresh and delicious.

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