The Q&A Archives: Small Corn Ears On Healthy Plants

Question: My question is what am I doing wrong? I have planted corn 2 yrs. in a row and the ears are tiny, but the plants look nice and healthy. They were fertilized by directions on pkg. The corn tastes good but small. Like a quarter the size it should be.

Answer: Drought, crowding, and/or low fertility could all contribute to small ears. Corn really needs plenty of space and plenty of water to produce at its best. Also be sure you are rotating your corn location and rebuilding the organic matter in your soil each year. I would suggest that you run some basic soil tests and make sure that the fertility is where it needs to be for corn because corn is a very heavy feeder. Your county extension should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results. They may also have suggestions as to different varieties that might grow better in or be better adapted to your local conditions. I hope you have better luck next year!

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