The Q&A Archives: Storing Corn Seed

Question: I purchased your Silver Queen' sweet corn the spring of 96. I had 3 half-pound bags left. I stored them in a ziploc bag and put that into a plastic container and left them in our back room. This room has a temperature of about 60-65 degrees all winter. I just unpacked all of the extra seeds stored in the same manner and all seem to be fine except the corn. There are little winged black bugs inside and out of the origional bag. They are abo ut 3/8 " in length. My question is: Can I still plant this corn or should I just toss it? Should I have stored it this way? And how long does the cor n store? I thought corn stored for a long time. Thank you so much for any help you give. Elizabeth Mott Dickerson, MD

Answer: I'd do a germination test (place 20 seeds in a moist paper towel in the shade and count the number of seed germinating after one week) If it's less than 70-% germination, toss it! Corn is seed is usually good for only one season. A better storage temperature is closer to 50F. Seeds can be better stored in a refrigerator or a freezer. Make sure that the containers are as moisture-free as possible. Warm up the seeds before you use them.

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