WHAT IS CORN?
Corn is a vegetable. A kernel of corn is a yellow, soft seed.
Corn kernels grow on cobs in cylindrical rows.
WHERE IS CORN PRODUCED IN BC?
Corn is grown commercially in the Okanagan Valley, the Lower
Mainland and Vancouver Island. Corn is a hot weather crop. It cannot
be seeded until after all danger of spring frost has passed and
starts to deteriorate with fall frost.
HOW MUCH DO CORN WE PRODUCE?
BC produces 18 million kilograms of sweet corn which is about 5%
of the Canadian production. Three-quarters of the corn grown is used
by the processing industry.
HOW IS CORN PRODUCED?
Corn should be seeded, after the threat of spring frost, in a
well-drained field. It will germinate quickly in warm soil and grow
to a height of 1.5 to 2.5m. Pollen is produced on the tassels that
form at the top of the plant. Cobs develop on the side of the stalk.
Corn is ready to be harvested when the silk dries and the kernels
are filled out. Corn is harvested by machine for the processing
market and picked by hand for the fresh market.
WHAT DOES CORN LOOK LIKE WHEN I USE IT?
Corn can be eaten fresh, as corn-on-the-cob or as fresh cut
kernels. It can be canned, creamed or frozen. Corn is a good source
of carbohydrates, fibre and niacin. Corn is also used as feed for
cattle. The whole plant is cut, chopped up and later fed to cows
mainly in the dairy industry to produce milk.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE CORN LEAVES THE FARM?
After harvest, corn converts sugar to starch quickly within the
kernel. Corn is best eaten soon after being picked. Much of the corn
is sold the same day it is picked at roadside stands and farmers'
markets. Corn which is sold to supermarkets is hydro-cooled (dipped
in ice-cold water), packed into boxes, topped with ice and shipped
to market in refrigerated trucks. Corn for the processing market is
shipped to plants within hours of harvest. Specialized equipment
removes the husks and then corn is blanched, cooled, cut from the
cobs and frozen.
WHAT CHALLENGES DO CORN PRODUCERS FACE?
While BC corn growers have to contend with few insect and disease
problems, so therefore rarely have to spray with pesticides,
sometimes they are bothered by blackbirds and other birds that strip
the husk and eat the corn. When this occurs, farmers have to use a
variety of means to frighten the birds away.
WHO'S INVOLVED IN PRODUCING CORN?
- Farm owner and manager
- Field workers
- Vegetable inspector
- Canning and freezing companies and their employees
- Producers of freezer containers and tin cans
- Fertilizer companies
- Equipment dealers
- Fuel companies
- Seed companies
- Processor fieldmen
1 medium ear of corn (90g)
||Calories from Fat 10
||% Daily Value*
|Total Fat 1g
|Saturated Fat 0g
|Total Carbohydrate 18g
|Dietary Fibre 3g
|Vitamin A 2%
||Vitamin C 10%
|*Percent Daily Values are based
on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Interesting Fact About Corn:
Sweet corn, which is the corn that we eat fresh, is the result
of a gene mutation in field corn. This mutation occurred in the
1800s in the United States and prevented sugar in the kernel from
being converted to starch.
- Contacts and other resources:
- BCMAL- Field Vegetable Information
- InfoBasket: Your Portal to Agri-Food Information on the Internet