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Drying corn seed  RSS feed

 
Posts: 29
Location: NSW Australia
food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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I've been drying corn on the cobb in an effort to procure my own seed so I'm wondering how long and how dry before I take them off the cobb.

Thanks Glenn.
 
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Glenn Darman wrote:I've been drying corn on the cobb in an effort to procure my own seed so I'm wondering how long and how dry before I take them off the cobb.



My strategy is to let them dry on the cob long enough that when I set a seed on a rock and hit it with a hammer, that the seed shatters. If it mashes, then it's not dry enough. Another test I use is the bite test... I put a kernel between my front teeth and nibble on it. If it's too wet, I'll be able to nibble off little pieces of the kernel.

Timing can vary widely for me depending on how warm it is and how much humidity. If I dry them on the porch, which is basically outside except covered to keep off rain, then it takes a couple of months in late fall. If I dry them inside over the heat register where they get lots of moving air, then they dry faster. If I dry them in a crate they dry slower than if I lay them out a single layer deep. They dry quickest on a corn board. If I had unlimited resources, I would dry them on wire racks. The risk with drying them in a crate is that they might mold. So I typically don't gather them into crates until the drying process is well advanced.

Drying corn a single layer deep on the porch. I turn them about once a day so that every side gets exposed to the air.


Almost Finished Dying on the Porch.


Dries quicker in the sunlight, but I gotta be vigilant regarding rain, and I don't like drying seed corn in the sun cause I worry about getting too hot. I dry the food grade corn in the sun, and the seed grade in the shade.



 
Glenn Darman
Posts: 29
Location: NSW Australia
food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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Thanks for that Joseph this is the first year I actually had success with growing corn and I don't want to muck it up at this stage.We only have 2 ac's and not the best amount of room to grow because the lay of the land so we have to make it count.I enjoy reading your posts by the way as you have a way of explaining things,even the technical things,at a level that's easy on me.You sure are passionate.

Glenn.
 
Posts: 54
Location: Southern Michigan
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Hello, I finally managed to grow a few ears of corn  and would like to try and save the seed. Unfortunately they aren’t very dry yet and the pests are attacking. Caterpillars and raccoons are the two that showed up yesterday. I’d like to go ahead and pull the ears to dry indoors but I wasn’t sure if that was okay? I have a few makeshift drying racks with a 24 hr fan. The corn is starting to dry and the stalks are dying back but the kernels are still pretty soft. Is it too early to pull it? Thanks!
 
Posts: 38
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
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Grace Gierucki wrote:Hello, I finally managed to grow a few ears of corn  and would like to try and save the seed. Unfortunately they aren’t very dry yet and the pests are attacking. Caterpillars and raccoons are the two that showed up yesterday. I’d like to go ahead and pull the ears to dry indoors but I wasn’t sure if that was okay? I have a few makeshift drying racks with a 24 hr fan. The corn is starting to dry and the stalks are dying back but the kernels are still pretty soft. Is it too early to pull it? Thanks!



Wondering the same thing myself!

Does anyone leave the husks pulled back but still attached? I thought it might be easy to hang the ears on a line to dry if you pulled back the husks and stapled the halves back together around the line.
 
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We dry our corn with the husks still attached, we do this indoors with fans to circulate the air constantly. The husks are pulled back and a vertically hanging string is wrapped and half hitched around the husks, we can usually hang about 10 ears per string in the drying room.
We dry them until they will pop off the cob when a thumb is drug across the ear (10% moisture content is what these kernels test).

Redhawk
 
Grace Gierucki
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Location: Southern Michigan
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Thank you!  I pulled them and salvaged what was left after the bugs were done. Not enough to eat but at least enough to retry a large patch next year. Thank you!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Next year you might try using a spraying of compost tea once the ears have formed both pre tassel and after pollination should help with bug issues.
 
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