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When you grow corn, there is a right time to pick it so you can get the most out of your crop. Knowing when to harvest corn can save your crop from under- and over-harvesting. In this post, we'll discuss when to pick corn and give you some tips on how to know when it's harvesting time. Harvesting at the right time will ensure that your corn tastes great and is at its most nutritious stage! Stay tuned for more information on picking corn crops.

There is nothing quite like the sweet taste, texture, and crunch of freshly picked corn. Following are some factors that need to be considered to know when to pick corn.

Factors that decide the right time to pick corn


One of the most crucial factors to consider is undoubtedly the timing of the harvest. The amount of time it takes to harvest and bring in the corn can vary depending on a number of different factors, including the weather and the maturity of the crop. In general, though, corn growers aim to harvest their crop sometime between late September and early October.

Size and color

The first step is to determine harvesting time is to look at the kernel size and color. When harvesting hard corn, the kernel size, and color are two important factors to consider. Kernel size is determined by the number of rows on the cob and the distance between the kernels. The larger the kernel, the more yield you'll get per bushel. Larger kernels are more likely to be filled with starch and have the best flavor, while smaller kernels are higher in sugar content.

The moisture content of the corn

The moisture content of the corn affects the amount of ethanol that can be produced from it. Too much moisture will result in a lower yield. Too little moisture will also result in a lower yield and it may take a few more days to harvest. First, cut a small piece of corn off the cob and place it in a plastic bag. Then, microwave the corn for about one minute to check the moisture content.

Test the kernel for starch content

The corn crop is ready for harvest when the silk on the ears has turned brown. The kernels should be hard and the husks should be dry. To determine kernel maturity, check the back of the ear for kernels that are deep yellow or black. If more than a third of the kernels are black, the corn is over-mature and will not store well. If most of the kernels are still milky, the corn is immature.

Other factors to consider


Weather impacts farmers' decisions about what to do in the field. The weather can have a significant impact on corn harvest. Too much rain can delay harvesting corn, while hot, dry weather can cause the corn to mature too quickly and result in lower yields.

Moreover, hot, dry weather can cause the corn to wilt and die, while wet weather can lead to mold and fungus. By tracking the weather, farmers can make informed decisions about when to plant, irrigate, and pick their homegrown corn.

Soil Conditions

Soil quality is an important factor to consider in determining how much  time a corn crop will take to mature. Poor soil can lead to lower yields, smaller ears of corn, and delayed time to pick corn. There are several factors that contribute to the quality of soil, including the amount of organic matter, the type of soil, and the pH level. Soil testing is the best way to determine what improvements need to be made to achieve the best results.

Time of Day 

Corn harvesting is typically an all-day event, but the time of day can affect how long the process takes. The early morning hours are the best time to pick corn since the corn is still cool and the dew is still on the leaves. The corn will be less likely to shatter and there will be less field loss. Harvesting later in the day can be more difficult, as the corn is hotter and the leaves are drier.

How to identify if corn is getting close to harvest

There are various ways to identify if corn is getting close to harvest. One way is by the checking amount of milky sap that is expressed from the cob during the milk stage. When the milky substance seeps out, it means that the sugar content in the kernels is at its peak. At harvest time, the silk turns brown, Another way to identify if corn is getting close to harvesting is by observing the husks. If they start to turn brown and dry, then it means that the corn is ready for harvest.

Can you pick corn too late?

The average lifespan of a corn plant is about 120 days. If you wait too long to harvest your corn, the kernels will become completely dry and shatter when the cob is compressed. The sugar content of the kernels will be lower.Thus, the low sugar content will make the kernels tougher and less sweet making corn less suitable for eating.

Does corn ripen after being picked?

No, a stalk of corn will grow just a few corn ears. Picking ears will not encourage any further ripe ear production. Corn is a grain that is harvested when the kernels are mature. The sugar content in the kernels will continue to increase until the corn is harvested, but the flavor, texture, or overall ripening process will not improve after the corn is picked.

How to shuck corn quickly after harvest

The best way to shuck corn quickly is to first remove the outer leaves of the corn. Take off as many leaves as you can until you reach the corn on the cob. Hold the cob in one hand and use your other hand to shuck the corn.

Start at the top and use your thumbs to push the kernels off of the cob. Keep going until all of the kernels are off of the cob. Pull up the  corn stalks immediately after harvest. Cut the stalks into 1-foot (30 cm.) lengths before adding them to the compost pile to hasten their decay.

To freeze corn after shucking it, boil ears for 7-11 minutes, depending on the size (7 minutes for smaller ears, 9 for medium cobs, and 11 for the biggest corns), and then cool them in an ice bath. The freezer is the best place to store corn as frozen corn can last for up to six months or up to a year. Putting corn into boiling water before storing is also a common practice.

Companion plants for corn

Companion plants are plants that grow well together and provide benefits to each other. Companion plants for corn help in growing corn, improving yield, and protecting the entire crop from pests. Some plants that make good companions for corn include beans, cucumbers, and sunflowers.

Different varieties of corn

Sweet corn

This type of corn has a sweet, starchy taste. It is often eaten boiled, grilled, or roasted. One of the most popular vegetables in the United States is sweet corn. Sweet corn is a type of maize that has been selectively bred to have a higher sugar content than other types of maize. It is usually eaten fresh, but can also be frozen or canned. Super sweet corn is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.

Do you know when to pick sweet corn?

The best time to harvest sweet corn is when the kernels are soft and plump. You can test for ripeness by pressing on a kernel with your thumbnail - if the juice is milky, the corn is ripe & fresh. At this stage, sweet corn is ready to be stored.

Another important thing you need to do is make sure that you're not picking sweet corn too early. By doing this mistake, you will get kernels that will still be hard because they haven't had the time to plump and ripen. You don't want to waste your effort.

Field corn

Field corn is one of the most important crops in the United States. It is used for food, animal feed, and ethanol production. Field corn is a type of maize that is grown in large fields. It has a long stalk and large ears. The kernels are white, yellow, or red.

It has a high starch content, which makes it an ideal candidate for making ethanol. Also, it is considered an excellent source of protein and other nutrients for animals.

Other than these two corn varieties the other varieties of corn are  flint corn, dent corn, and waxy corn.

What are some products that can be made from corn after harvesting?


Popcorn is a delicious snack that has been around for centuries. It is made from corn kernels that are popped and then seasoned with salt, butter, or other spices. Popcorn is a healthy snack that is low in calories and high in fiber. It is also a great source of antioxidants.


Cornmeal is a type of corn flour that is ground from fresh corn. It is often used to make cornbread, pancakes, and tortillas. Cornmeal can also be used as a thickener for soups and stews. Cornmeal is high in fiber and contains important vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and vitamin B6.


Tortillas are a type of flatbread made from cornmeal or wheat flour. They are a staple food in Central America and the Caribbean. Tortillas can be eaten plain or filled with meats, vegetables, cheeses, or other ingredients. They are also used to make tacos and burritos.

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