Header Ads Widget

Responsive Advertisement

Baby Corn Production Guide

Baby corn is a popular ingredient in many cuisines, particularly in Asian dishes, and its demand has been increasing in recent years. As a result, more and more farmers are considering growing baby corn as a viable crop.

For generations, the Chinese have utilized young cob corn (Zea mays L.) as a vegetable, and this tradition has since spread to other Asian countries. It is a popular ingredient in many food preparations and boasts similar nutritional benefits to non-legume vegetables such as cauliflower, tomato, cucumber, and cabbage. This versatile vegetable shows great potential for cooking and canning purposes, and its export to Thailand, Japan, and Europe is on the rise.

In general, corn farmers aim to improve their competitive position by increasing yields and reducing production costs. This can be achieved through strategies such as harvesting for green or baby corn, which reduces cultural risks. Young cob corn has a short growth cycle, enabling farmers to grow four or more crops per year. It is adaptable to a wide range of conditions and requires minimal cultivation. Furthermore, pollination is not an issue since young cob corn is harvested before the kernels develop. Given these factors, young cob corn has excellent potential as a crop.


Baby corn is typically produced using sweet corn varieties. Pioneer 305 and SMC (hybrid) varieties are commercially grown for young corn in some areas of the country, while Golden Cross Bantam and Supersweet have been identified as having the best attributes for young cob corn (Yodpetch and Bautista, 1983). Other varieties, such as IPB Var 1, IPB Var 2, IES Cn 1, IES Var 2, and Supersweet corn #33, have also been shown to be suitable for baby corn production (Masana et al., 1990).

Soil and Climatic Requirements

Corn grows best in well-drained soil with a silt loam or loam texture, which has a high moisture holding capacity, rich in organic matter, and slightly acidic with a pH range of 5.3 to 7.3. During its growing period, the crop requires a rainfall of 200 to 1,500 mm, but the optimum requirement is between 400 to 600 mm. In times of moisture deficiency, irrigation is essential to ensure proper growth and development of the crop.

Land Preparations

For corn production, it is ideal to have a deep, well-pulverized seedbed that is fairly compact. However, a clayey and weedy field may require additional plowing. If trash is plowed under, a second or third operation may be necessary to achieve a clean seedbed.

Plowing should be carried out when the soil is at the right moisture level, which is indicated by soil particles 13 cm below the surface separating easily, with only a thin layer sticking to the fingers but not forming a ball. For animal-drawn plows, a depth of 4 to 7 cm is sufficient, while tractors should aim for a depth of 12 to 14 cm.

Harrowing should be done when the soil has the correct moisture content, and again within two days before planting to ensure a level soil surface.

Planting Method

1. Surface or Flat-bed Planting 
Seeds are drilled or hill-planted on a level to slightly rolling topography at a desired depth and row spacing. It is suited for areas with abundant precipitation and heavy soil types.

2. Listed Planting 
Seeds are placed at the bottom of the V-shaped furrow. A lister, which is double moldboard blade, is used for opening furrow of this kind. It is practiced in areas where rainfall is a limiting factor, where soil drainage is good and the soil is friable.

3. Ridged Planting
The seeds are placed to a specific depth on top of the ridge. The conditions described in listed planting are also appropriate for this type.

If the soil contains considerable moisture at planting time, the seed should be planted from 2 to 5 cm. deep. On the dry, soil the seeds should be planted 5 to 8 cm. deep.

Rate of Seeding

The amount of seeds needed in a hectare to have a population density of 80,000 to 100,000 plants/hectare is 27 to 30 kg of hybrid seeds. The rows are spaced 100 cm with a hill spacing of 25 cm with 3 plants/hill or drilled 25 cm between hills. No thinning on corn seedlings will be done.


The field should be irrigated moderately even at the time of seed germination and during the early growth and development of corn plants. Weekly irrigation must be done especially during summer.


For corn, the recommended fertilizer rate per hectare is 3 bags of 14-14-14 and 1 bag of Urea. Half of the nitrogen (N) and all of the phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) should be applied in the furrow, followed by covering with a 2 to 3 cm layer of soil before planting.

It is important to note that the fertilization requirements may vary depending on the results of a soil analysis recommended by the Bureau of Soils. Therefore, it is advisable to conduct a soil test to determine the optimal amount and type of fertilizer needed to maximize crop yields while minimizing the risk of over-fertilization.


Weeds are a detrimental plant companion to crops. Apart from being hosts to plant pests and diseases, weeds can cause a significant reduction in corn yield, up to 50 to 80%, if left uncontrolled.

To avoid this, weeds are commonly controlled through hand weeding, hoeing within the row, and cultivation between the rows. These methods help to keep the weeds at bay and reduce competition for nutrients, water, and sunlight, ultimately leading to higher corn yields.


Detasseling is the process of removing the tassels from corn plants. This is typically done as soon as the tassels emerge from the plants.

Crop Protection

Baby corn requires practically no application of pesticides because the crop has short growth duration thereby eliminating the residue factor and minimizing in production cost.


The most critical factor to consider when harvesting baby corn is the timeline. Ideally, young corn should be harvested two to three days after silking or 50 to 55 days after emergence, and the harvesting duration may last for 15 to 18 days, with hand-picking being the preferred method.

For market purposes, the cobs must be of high quality. The ideal young cob corn should be straight, with a uniform ovary alignment, and measure between 4 to 11 cm in length and 0.8 to 1.8 cm in diameter. The corn should have a slightly yellow to yellow color, be sweet, and not fibrous. It should also be free from corn borer bites, clean, and not broken, as these factors can impact its market value.


Interview with Mr. Benny Cadiz
Masana et al. Preliminary Test Evaluation of Baby Corn. 1990
Masana et. al. Baby Corn Production Technology. 1993
Philippine Agriculturist 66:232-244. July-September, 1983
Philippine Agriculturist 67:122-134. June 1094
Report 33rd Meeting of the Philippine Seedboard, Bureau of Plant Industry
The Philippine Recommends for Corn. !981. PCARRD, Los Baños, Laguna

Lolita F. Masana
Agriculturist II, Bureau of Plant Industry

Post a Comment