Re: Sweet Corn
Greg and Lei Gunthorp (email@example.com)
Mon, 22 Dec 97 17:44:50 PST
I'm going to post this on the SANET because I would like to hear how others are managing organic
I raise about 1000 pigs per year so nutrients aren't a problem. Corn will not do well if shorted
of nitrogen! Weed control is also essential. This is the first year I have ever tried corn with out
weed spray. I'm not completely organic yet but I'm getting closer all the time. Chemicals are a trade off
for no crop rotation, less management , and less labor. I know which system makes more sense for the farmer, environment, and consumer. I've still got a ways to go on the management. I'm no organic expert. It
does takes a good cultivator. I am fortunate to have a dad who remembers what was required before chemicals. He was a sustainable farmer before anyone coined the phrase. Dad and Grampa never gave up the crop rotations and pastured hogs. There was a time in this country when you farmed organically because there wasn't chemicals. The successful farms utilized crop rotations and a lot of livestock. Thats the route I am taking. A majority of the management decisions essential for organic farming never left this farm.
I graze mine hard before chisel plowing and feild cultivating at least twice. Don't get in too big of a rush.
Old time rule was no corn in the ground before the leaves are fully out! The corns got to beat the weeds
out of the ground to stand a chance of cultivating them.
Like I said before, the majority of my corn is still band sprayed. (about 20% of normal rate) I can't afford the
weed pressure risk of no spray without an organic premium for my pigs. I have never sprayed my sweet corn
with insecticides and haven't had a corn borer problem. I always plant it on pasture ground, but don't isolate it from other corn. I'm not trying to get sweet corn all season. I would think if I tried later plantings I would get hammered by corn borers. Any thoughts?
Also I would work with a good seed company. There is tremendous difference in corns ability to take
environmental stresses. Maybe you need to put out a test plot.
Don't expect conventional yeilds out of chemical free corn. Move the population down accordingly.
Hope this helped and hopefully somebody will send me some good ideas.
Best wishes and happy holidays,
> Dear Greg & Lei
> I saw your posting re: rasising chemical free sweet corn. My brother
> and I have a small organic farm in Massachusetts (20 acres) and were
> thinking of trying sweet corn. No one I know of around here has had
> much luck. Some have had corn borer problems, others have had problem
> with supplying sufficient nutrients.
> We were thinking of trying one or two acres. If you have some time, we
> would appreciate it if you could pass on the benefits of your past
> Thanks in advance
> Bill McKay
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