Topping corn

gardener_sandyNovember 13, 2010

I understand that some farmers used to cut off the tops of the corn stalks. Why was this done and at what stage of growth? Did they keep the tops? If so, how were they stored and/or used?

Thanks for any help.

Sandy

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
farmerdilla

If you cutting off the tassels, It is done to control crossbreeding. As far as I know it is only done by farmers growing hybrid corn for seed. The varieties to be crossbred are planted in alternate strips and the variety from which the seed is to be saved is topped so that it can only be pollinated by the other variety.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 8:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fusion_power

There was another use farmerdilla. It was based on the concept that the upper leaves were not necessary to mature an ear of corn. They would go through the corn after it had pollinated and cut off the tops above the ear. The tops were then fed to cows. You can read about this in articles published about 100 years ago. I have records in a couple of books I bought off ebay.

DarJones

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 11:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
farmerdilla

Dar, I don't go back quite that far. In my youth there were many subsistence farmers. They would pull fodder to feed their cows. This was done just after the ears passed through the milk stage. In my my family we cut (with cornknives) the corn when the ears were fully developed but the foliage still green and shocked it in the field to dry. The corn was later shucked out and the fodder fed to the cows. The only actual topping ( removing of the tassels) that I have encountered was for the purpose of growing hybrid seed corn, altho the technique should work also to prevent the detrimental cross pollination of SH2 sweet corns with other types.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 8:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
keithondelmarva

some commercial sweetcorn growers top the corn if it is for hand harvest. makes it easier on the harvest crew, less pollen floatig around, can stand up and get fresh air, etc

Keith

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 8:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardener_sandy

I did find one paper that indicated the tops were sometimes removed to hasten drying of the grain.

Thanks for all the input.

Sandy

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 8:18PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Dang it! I've done it again.. 3 years in a row I've gotten injured..
It's time to get in the garden, but I hurt my back...
wertach zone 7-B SC
Cutting seed potatoes, what to expect next?
Hi everyone, I just joined. I have a potato question...
Else
Planting where dog used to poop
We haven't had a god in two years. Is it okay to plant...
Theresa24
pepper plant problem
I've had Oedema on some of my plants for a couple weeks....
Ryan Shea
Artichoke Failure, HELP!!!
I am in zone 7a, middle TN, and attempting to grow...
Trinacria
Sponsored Products
Aura Pleated Floor Lamp by Carpyen
$1,014.72 | Lumens
Armen Living Allen End Table - Stainless Steel with Glass Top - LCALLAST
$170.00 | Hayneedle
Vivacious Circle Rings Double Gourd Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
Serena & Lily Banded Linen Bumper
Serena & Lily
Menu Bath Pedal Bin by Menu
$224.95 | Lumens
Nova Fireclay Basin
Signature Hardware
Kenroy Home Chesapeake Torchiere Floor Lamp
Lamps Plus
Black Midtown Counter Chair - Set of Two
$179.99 | zulily
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™