As the summertime air slowly moves out and fall creeps in, the nation’s corn farmers prepare for their annual fall corn harvest, with big yields on their minds. While this typically lasts an average of 2 months, there are some variations, as illustrated by Texas’ three-and-a-half-month harvest period.
When Exactly is the Corn Harvest Season?
Typical corn harvest dates vary across the country based on a number of factors. That said, the Corn Belt – the majority producer of our nation’s corn – typically prepares to begin the fall harvest sometime in September.
When is Corn Harvested?
Corn is typically harvested in late summer or early fall, between August and October in the Northern Hemisphere. Harvesting time depends on factors such as corn type, planting date, climate, and corn maturity, which farmers monitor by observing kernel moisture, color, and texture to determine the ideal time to harvest.
How Many Times Can You Harvest Corn a Year?
Corn is an annual crop that needs to be planted every year and can only be harvested once a year. Given its adequate growing conditions, corn can be produced between two and four ears depending on its variety. How much corn you are able to harvest successfully depends on the quality of care you give to your crops.
What are the Typical Corn Harvest Dates by State?
Data for the below map is based on the United States Department of Agriculture’s “Usual Planting and Harvesting Dates for U.S. Field Crops” report. This map shows the start of planting and the end dates of harvesting corn by state. Also, according to Beef2Live, the top 10 states that produced the most bushels of corn in 2020 include:
- Iowa (2,296,200,000 or 16.19% of U.S.)
- Illinois (2,131,200,000 or 15.03 of U.S.)
- Nebraska (1,790,090,000 or 12.62% of U.S.)
- Minnesota (1,441,920,000 or 10.17% of U.S.)
- Indiana (981,750,000 or 6.92% of U.S.)
- Kansas (766,480,000 or 5.40% of U.S.)
- South Dakota (729,000,000 or 5.14% of U.S.)
- Ohio (564,300,000 or 3.98% of U.S.)
- Missouri (560,880,000 or 3.95% of U.S.)
- Wisconsin (516,780,000 or 3.64% of U.S.)
Corn Harvest Dates FAQs
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about corn harvest dates:
How Long is the Corn Growing Season?
The corn growing season can vary in length due to factors like corn variety, climate, and growing conditions. Corn plants need a specific number of days to mature and produce ears of corn, which can be anywhere from 60 to 100 days or longer.
What Happens if You Wait Too Long to Harvest Corn?
If you wait too long to harvest corn, kernels get old and lose their sweetness and tenderness. The sugars turn to starch, making it taste and feel worse, and the corn gets dry and tough, making it hard to chew and unappetizing. Bugs and animals might also come and ruin the crop, reducing how much you get.
Why Do Farmers Leave Corn in the Field All Winter?
Cold temperatures in winter act as a natural preservative, keeping the corn in good condition. Leaving corn in the field all winter helps farmers maximize their resources, preserve the crop’s quality, and optimize their harvest.
Does Corn Have to be Replanted Every Year?
Yes, corn is an annual crop; it must be replanted yearly. It grows from seeds and needs warm weather and enough sunlight to thrive. After harvesting, the field must be cleared and new seeds planted for the next season.
What to Do After Harvesting Corn?
Dry and store the corn properly to avoid spoilage, and let it cure in a well-ventilated area. Remove any debris or foreign matter from the corn before storing it. Lastly, keep good records to track the harvest’s success and make informed decisions for future seasons.
How Do You Harvest and Keep Corn?
Check the moisture content of the kernels to determine if they’re ready for harvest (around 15-20%). Harvest using a combine harvester that cuts the stalks and separates the kernels from the cob. Dry the corn after and store it properly in a cool, dry place to maintain quality and prevent spoilage.
How Long Does Corn Take to Grow?
Corn grows at different rates depending on factors like weather, soil, and corn type. It typically takes 60-100 days to mature. The timeline can be affected by temperature, sunlight, and water. Different corn varieties grow at different rates, so variety matters. Overall, corn needs care throughout its growth cycle for a good harvest.
How Long Does Corn Last After Harvest?
After harvest, the shelf life of corn depends on storage conditions and the type of corn. Fresh corn can last 5-7 days in the fridge. To make it last longer, blanch and freeze it. Frozen corn can last 8-12 months. But remember, the quality and taste may decline, so eat it soon for the best flavor.
Prepare for Your Fall Corn Harvest with John Deere Equipment
As we enter the peak of the fall harvest season, we hope this visual look at start and end dates has served as a valuable resource. John Deere harvesting equipment also helps farmers get the most out of their corn harvest. It’s designed with advanced technology and innovative features for efficient and precise harvesting. John Deere offers a range of reliable equipment, from powerful combines to corn headers, that can handle the demands of the field. To find your nearest dealer, check out the John Deere dealer locator.