19 articles tagged "Sweet Corn".

After harvest, storing vegetables in optimal conditions is important to ensure the whole season’s hard work has paid off. This article discusses the optimum storage conditions for tomato, pepper, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe and sweet corn. Tomato Ideal storage conditions for tomatoes depend on the maturity stage of picking. If tomatoes are picked at mature green, store them in 66 to 70°F with 90 to 95% RH would encourage uniform ripening. Temperatures above 81°F reduce intensity of red color and reduce fruit shelf-life. Green tomatoes are chilling sensitive. If the temperature is below 55°F, fruit may develop chilling injury. Red tomatoes are safe to store at 50°F, however, flavor and aroma may be negatively affected compared to storing them at 55°F. Pepper Optimum storage condition for peppers is 45 to 55°F with 90 to 95% RH. Temperatures lower than 45°F may cause chilling injury. Colored peppers are in general less chilling[Read More…]


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We are looking for sweet corn growers to participate in our 2017 Vegetable Field Day and Sweet Corn Tasting. Our field day on Aug. 15 at Pinney Purdue Ag Center in Wanatah, will feature tours of tomato production in moveable high tunnels, using both conventional and organic management systems. The event also will include walking tours of sweet corn and pumpkin variety trials, an overview of research findings about the opportunities available through high tunnels, and information about the NRCS program. Attendees will learn about managing pollinators; low-cost high tunnel structures for the home gardener; irrigation solutions; site and structure considerations for new high tunnel users; and finding, preserving, and preparing fresh produce. Private applicator recertification credits (PARP) are anticipated. This event includes a dinner and sweet corn variety tasting. If you would be willing to donate 2 ½ dozen ears of corn, please contact Lyndsay to arrange pick-up/drop-off arrangements. Lyndsay Ploehn, Purdue[Read More…]


Figure 1. Armyworm damage corn leaves.

We have had major flights of armyworm moths (Figure 1.), as evidenced by pheromone trap catches. Catches have been highest in the northeastern portion of the state. Armyworms prefer grasses but will feed on other crops if necessary. During outbreak years, the infestation usually will start in pastures or other grassy areas. Once the armyworms have consumed most of the available leaf tissue, the larvae will march as a group (hence the name) looking for something else to eat. The next crop consumed may be wheat or early corn. When populations are heavy, the damage can be devastating. Fortunately, these kinds of outbreaks occur quite rarely. The last major outbreak we experienced was in 2001. If you have early-planted sweet corn, it would be wise to watch grassy areas for armyworm damage. If you see evidence of a problem there, watch your sweet corn for any signs of activity. The[Read More…]


Corn earworm flights are quite variable around the state, but are generally heavy. Counts in pheromone traps are higher in the northern part of the state, with the LaPorte County trap reporting 1422 moths over a 7 day period last week. That’s about 20 X the threshold level. As I wrote in the last newsletter, growers need to be spraying frequently when silks are green during this period of time. If you are growing one of the Bt varieties, especially in the northern part of the state, I would still recommend at least a moderate spray program to ensure that you get the results you are looking for.


I continue to catch low numbers of corn earworm moths in my pheromone trap. Although the numbers are low, growers with very early sweet corn that is in the reproductive stage should be alert for potential damage. The threshold for spraying sweet corn that matures prior to field corn silking is only one moth per night. My cooperators at the Purdue Ag Centers around the state are putting up their earworm pheromone traps today (June 6), so by the time you receive this newsletter, we should have data available on moth catches around the state, which you can access at https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/cornearworm/index.php. As I suggested in the last edition of the Vegetable Crops Hotline, I have found corn earworm larvae feeding in the whorl of my knee high sweet corn, planted April 18.


I am continuing to catch a small number of corn earworms in my trap. Usually we talk about earworm moths being attracted to silking corn to lay their eggs. However, moths will lay eggs on whorl stage sweet corn and the larvae can cause damage (Figure 1 and 2). The larvae will often feed inside the whorl, similar to European corn borer feeding. This damage is usually not very serious, but growers with very early sweet corn should be aware of the potential.    


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I caught my first earworm (Figure 1) moth in a pheromone trap last week. Earworms are very polyphagous, meaning they will eat lots of different plants. I suspect that any females that are flying are laying their eggs on wild plants of some sort and not on the seedling stage sweet corn or dent corn that is present in fields around the state. If you are one of the aggressive growers who grows sweet corn in the greenhouse and transplants it to the field to get that early market, your plants (unless they are covered by row cover) may be subject to earworm egg laying and feeding. This generation of larvae will be long gone before ears begin to form, so your only concern will be the foliar feeding damage and not ear infestation.


Photo by Dan Egel.

The relatively cool weather Indiana has experienced this summer may be responsible for more observations of northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) on sweet corn than normal. The primary symptom is the cigar shaped lesion that ranges from 1 to 7 inches in length (see Figure 1). The lesions may range from tan to gray in color. Under conditions of high humidity, olive-green fungal spores may be produced on the lesion surface. Symptoms of NCLB are frequently observed late in the season when days become cooler. Yield losses are possible if lesions reach the ear leaf or higher during the two weeks before or after tasseling. NCLB can be managed by a combination of crop rotation, fall tillage, resistant hybrids and fungicide applications. Crop rotation and fall tillage help to minimize crop residue that might harbor the fungus that causes NCLB. Choose hybrids resistant to NCLB when possible. When it is necessary[Read More…]


​Catches of corn earworm moths in pheromone traps are gradually increasing. I had 18 in my trap this morning (August 18). The gradual increase is indicative of the local population emerging. We can expect them to continue to gradually increase for most of the remainder of the season. What we have not had is the massive influx of moths from the south, likely due to the lack of tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico and few storm fronts coming northward from the Gulf States. With populations as they are currently, most sweet corn growers should have little problem managing this pest. A regular spray program should provide nearly perfect control. There are three main factors that you have control of that determine the level of control you will receive. You need to have the right chemical in the right place at the right time. I recommend using Coragen® and[Read More…]


​Pheromone trap catches for corn earworms continue to be very low. Again, this is a time when growers can save a lot of money and time by monitoring their pheromone traps and not spraying. I harvested untreated sweet corn on Friday, July 31, and had over 98% clean ears and the few that were damaged had very few kernels fed upon and in 400 ears, we found not a single earworm. On the other hand, moth flights are likely to pick up any time between now and about August 20, based on 28 years that I have been monitoring their flights in Indiana. Regularly checking your moth catches will help you to know when the moths have arrived and when you need to increase your management activities. The treatment threshold now is 10 moths per night, because of the maturity level of field corn nearby.


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