Baby corn - PNW0532 BABY CORN Carol A Miles and Leslie Zenz...

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PNW0532 B ABY C ORN This publication is part of the Farming West of the Cascades series A Pacific Northwest Extension Publication Washington Oregon Idaho About Baby Corn Fresh baby corn has a crisp texture and a subtle, slightly sweet corn flavor. Although almost all the baby corn found in the United States is pickled or canned and imported from Asia, fresh baby corn is easy to grow in the Pacific Northwest. Baby corn is no longer a delicacy or specialty food reserved for salad bars and Asian restaurants; it is a locally produced deli- cious treat to eat raw or cooked in many recipes. Baby corn’s miniature size makes consumers think that it grows from dwarf corn plants, but the tiny ears of baby corn are simply immature ears from regular-sized corn plants. Specialty varieties are available for baby corn production, but baby corn can also be harvested from many common corn varieties. The purpose of this publication is to describe how to select a variety and grow baby corn. Marketing baby corn is also discussed. Growing Baby Corn There are two different methods for producing baby corn. In the first method, baby corn is the primary crop, and a variety is selected and planted to produce only baby corn. In the second method, baby corn is the second- ary crop in a planting of sweet corn or field corn, and the variety is selected to produce either sweet corn or field corn (Galinat 1985). The decision whether to grow baby corn either as a primary crop or as a secondary crop will influence variety choice, planting density, and fertilizer rates. Carol A. Miles and Leslie Zenz
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2 — Baby Corn Selecting a variety There are specialty varieties of corn, such as Baby Corn, that have been developed specifically for baby corn production. The plants of baby corn varieties tend to produce more ears per plant than other corn varieties. However, many common corn varieties will also produce quality baby corn. Table 1 lists several varieties that produced marketable baby corn in field trials in southwest Washington. These varieties can be grown to produce baby corn as either a primary or a secondary crop. Many other sweet corn and field corn varieties may also be suitable for baby corn production. Before planting a large-scale crop, plant a small test plot to determine your favorite variety. If baby corn is being produced as a secondary crop, the variety must fit the purpose of the primary crop, whether it be for sweet or field corn. Choose a variety that also has good baby corn ear characteristics. Ear quality—not quantity—should be your primary criterion. Ear appearance. When selecting a corn variety for baby corn production, ear appearance is very impor- tant. Kernels should be uniform in shape and petite in size, with rows neatly aligned and ends evenly tapered. Baby corn ears should be 2–4 inches long and 1 / 3 2 / 3 inch in diameter at the base, or butt end (Chutkaew and Paroda 1994).
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  • Spring '15
  • PROFESSOR MARY ABUKTSA
  • Maize, baby corn, Carol A. Miles, N. S. Mansour

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