Harvesting Broom Corn - Knowledgebase Question

Fairhaven, MD
Question by jgae
September 4, 1999
I have grown a few experimental stalks of broom corn and now I would like to know when and how to harvest it? It is about 10 feet tall and has some red tassel like tops. The wind from hurricane Dennis has begun to blow it over and so I am wondering if I need to cut it now before it is no longer standing.


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Answer from NGA
September 4, 1999

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weighing 350 to 450 pounds. All this must be done carefully to yield good, untangled fiber for use in brooms.

At the factory broomcorn is sorted according to length, color (green is preferred), fineness, and straightness of the fiber. A broom is built up on a winding machine that slowly turns its wooden handle as the brush is added, layer by layer, and bound tight by a wire under tension. After two or three layers of shorter, coarser fibers, the shoulders of the broom are formed by adding brush to opposite sides. Next comes a layer of longer brush, called hurl, pointing the other way. This is folded down over the growing broom, followed by a final covering of hurl.

So, the short answer to your question is: harvest before the fibers become dry and brittle.

weighing 350 to 450 pounds. All this must be done carefully to yield good, untangled fiber for use in brooms.

At the factory broomcorn is sorted according to length, color (green is preferred), fineness, and straightness of the fiber. A broom is built up on a winding machine that slowly turns its wooden handle as the brush is added, layer by layer, and bound tight by a wire under tension. After two or three layers of shorter, coarser fibers, the shoulders of the broom are formed by adding brush to opposite sides. Next comes a layer of longer brush, called hurl, pointing the other way. This is folded down over the growing broom, followed by a final covering of hurl.

So, the short answer to your question is: harvest before the fibers become dry and brittle.

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