The Q&A Archives: Corn Not Producing

Question: We have planted corn that grows beautiful stalks, but the ears never form properly- they are small with not many kernels, and the kernels that form are different shapes with no orderly rows. What is the best way to plant corn for the best pollination? Short rows in a square, or long rows? Thanks for your time.

Answer: I think you've correctly identified the problem with your corn - poor pollination. Corn is wind-pollinated so be sure to plant your corn in blocks rather than in long single rows so the pollen can fall on the silks. You can try hand pollinating by collecting the pollen (shake the stalks and collect the yellow dust-like particles then dip the ends of the silks in the dust). Better luck next year!

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