Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE96-130
The customary seeding rate for sweetcorn in New Hampshire is about 21,000 seeds per acre. Mr. Hardy was curious as to whether this is really the optimal rate, and used his SARE grant to find out. He ran trials in six replications on a Canton stony fine sandy loam, and varied his planting density from a low of 12 000 seeds per acre, to a high of 32 000. He found the optimal rate to lie in the vicinity of 24 000 to 28 000. Any lower rate simply meant missed opportunity, while a higher rate than 28 000 gave ears that were too small to be marketable. He notes, however, that his conclusions are valid only if there is adequate rainfall. In a droughty year a considerably lower planting density would doubtless give better yield.
It is notable that this experiment led to a reconsideration of the recommended sweetcorn planting density in the New England Vegetable Management Guide.