You might have always wanted to start a corn farm business, but you don’t know where to begin. This article is here with you every step of the way! From when to plant your crops, to what type of equipment is needed and considerations for irrigation, this blog has got you covered!
When to Plant Your Crops
In general, the best time of year to plant corn is from May 1st through June 15th. You want to plant in such a way that you have a decent corn yield per acre of your land. If you are planting from seed, you can actually plant your corn as early as February 1st. However, there are a few conditions your plants will need before they can be ready for this early start.
First, you will need to make sure that it has not snowed within the last 24 hours because snow cover inhibits root growth in young seedlings. Second, if there was any measurable amount of snow on the ground during the winter months (December – March), then these areas should be rototilled prior to planting. Third, if your fields have recently been tilled or cultivated, don’t plant your seed directly into the tilled soil. Instead, rototill or cultivate again at least 2 weeks before planting.
As far as when to plant corn after it is already growing, you will need to make sure that not only the ground but also the air temperature is warm enough. Corn seedlings are very sensitive to cold temperatures, which cause even further damage if they are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The average last frost date in the U.S. is May 10th, so that means that even taking into account any early starts or delays due to weather conditions, you should have about 3 months between seeding and harvest time (~90 days).
What Type of Equipment Is Needed
As you start your corn farm business, there are some essential pieces of equipment that you will need to consider. Some key items include:
Tractors: You will need tractors to pull seeding and harvesting attachments. A small tractor can handle basic tillage, planting, fertilizing, weed control, cultivating (for weed control), and snow removal needs. If you’re looking for a larger option (depending on the size of your farm), then considering or even investing in agricultural wheel loaders is recommended. These modern wheel loaders help offset the high purchase price by reducing fuel consumption and increasing productivity through faster operation speeds.
Seeders: There are many types of seeders available to use with small plot sizes; however, it is important that they are compatible with your tractors. Also, if the seeders you are considering make use of a conveyor system, make sure that it is able to be towed by your tractor. For larger plot sizes (>20 acres), consider a self-propelled or trailed planter. Ground-driven row units can also be used, but make sure these row units have axles and tires at least 8.0 inches in width…they will need to handle planting for multiple seasons and harsh soil conditions without breaking down!
Harvesting Equipment: Depending on the amount of land you own/operate, you may need more than one corn harvester. Just remember that each unit weighs about 60 – 70 tons, so installing a track system in your driveway is highly recommended.
When you establish a corn farm business, you need to decide how and where to irrigate your crops. For smaller operations, drip irrigation systems provide an ideal solution for these needs – and they can actually save money in the long run! These complex systems deliver high-quality water where it’s needed at low pressure while minimizing land/water waste by avoiding runoff.
When To Harvest
The best time to harvest corn is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when it is dry outside and the husk leaves are dry as well. You should wait until the ear has turned from green to brown before harvesting, which occurs about 5 weeks after flowering has occurred (~60 days). Harvest your corn as close as possible to where you’re going to store or process it so that you maintain quality for the final product. Remember that the longer the delay in storage or processing, the lower quality of the product you will have at the market!
Different Types of Corn
If you’re new to the corn business, there are many different types of corn that will grow in your region. Popcorn is very popular for popping or making into snacks, but is not considered a sweet or fresh eating variety. The following are a few of the main types of corn that are most popular both in the US and globally:
This is also known as white corn and is most commonly eaten fresh off the cob. Its high sugar content makes it ideal for freezing so you can enjoy this variety year-round.
Grown mostly in Asia, this type is harvested when immature at 2 to 3 inches long with kernels no more than 1/4 inch wide. They have a yellowish color and a tender skin, making them ideal for stir-fried dishes.
Tender and juicy, this corn is the most popular type in the US. It’s typically eaten on the cob, but can also be dried and ground into meal for use in tortillas, polenta, or other recipes. These kernels are also used to make ethanol that can then be used to power cars or boats.
This type is most commonly made into corn products like grits or masa, but can also be eaten fresh off the cob when young. It’s very tender with a starchy flavor when dried, but when soaked in an alkaline solution, it swells up so much that it takes on a doughy consistency. Hominy is typically served with red chili sauce instead of butter to give it authentic Mexican flair.
Corn is a staple crop for many parts of the world, and it’s easy to see why. These hearty plants grow in most climates and require little maintenance – perfect for those looking to start their own corn farm business! Whether you’re just starting out or have been farming your whole life, there are multiple types of equipment that can help make harvesting easier.