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When should sweet corn be harvested?

Sweet corn is ready to harvest when the kernels are in the milk stage. Milk stage is when the endosperm inside the kernel is still liquid and the pericarp (skin) of the kernel is still tender. The best indicator from the outside of the ear is when the silks have turned very dark brown to black. It generally takes 17 to 25 days from the time the first silk appears until harvest.

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Close-up view of an ear of field corn encased in brown husk ready for harvest.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Commercial Horticulture, Sweet Corn, Corn September 7, 2018

Field corn is harvested after it has dried sufficiently, which means the husks are brown, not green like the husks of fresh sweet corn. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Peas and Beans, Sweet Corn, Tomato Pepper and Eggplant, Vegetable Gardens August 6, 2001

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Just as Good Friday signals the time to get the spring garden in the ground, August's heat is the indication that it's time to plant the fall garden.

Filed Under: Sweet Corn, Vegetable Gardens July 3, 2000

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

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