It is certainly possible to grow excellent sweet corn organically...
however one thing to keep in mind is the extremely low levels of ear worm
damage tolerated by wholesale buyers of "conventional" sweet corn. I recall
a conversation with Dr. Ruth Hazzard (Vegetable IPM specialist at U Mass)
about acceptable levels of ear worm damage as we were harvesting and
evaluating an organic sweet corn trial at Hampshire College in 1994.
My recollection is that ~ 20% of our untreated organic sweet corn ears were
damaged and that the plots where vegetable oil, oil + BT, Beauvaria sp...
treatments had been applied to the young silks (not the tassels) all had
significantly less damage...
However as I recall, Ruth Hazzard commented that > 2 % damaged ears is
considered unacceptable by conventional sweet corn growers.
We were supplying 70 CSA memberships with sweet corn from the non-plot
sweet corn in this field and had no problem finding sufficient good quality
ears on our harvest days. The ~ 20 % damage was acceptable to us.
See the following web site
for a description of "Zea-later" the oil applicator device that was
developed by Hazzard and
Elsah, Illinois 62028
(618) 374 - 5289
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