The often-fluctuating yields of sweet corn, a favorite in frozen and canned goods, has been demystified. A collaboration between the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and USDA-ARS has identified the leading players: environment and the seed's origin.
Sifting through data from a whopping 16,000 fields over 27 years, the year of production, the production region, and notably, the seed company, emerged as top determinants. The significance of the seed company was unforeseen, especially since hybrids were grouped into nine firms for analysis simplicity.
However, a clear winner among seed companies couldn't be pinpointed. Varied growth conditions for hybrids from the same company make definitive ranking challenging. Yet, the seed source's influence on yield is undeniable, serving as a vital decision point for processors.
The study also brought to light a climatic concern. When nighttime temperatures climb beyond 16 degrees Celsius (61 Fahrenheit), sweet corn yields wane. Given its delicate constitution and shallower root system compared to field corn, this vulnerability of sweet corn is logical.
Increasing global temperatures spell potential threats for sweet corn in future climates. Nevertheless, this study offers hope, emphasizing the processors' power in selecting the right seed source. Source : wisconsinagconnection