Can Popcorn Be Grown Here?
Popcorn can be grown here, both for producers and gardeners and youth! The issue is what direction do you want to go with what you are growing. Number two yellow and white popcorn can easily be grown but you must have storage and harvesting equipment. Also, do you want to sell domestically or international or start your own business? There are different types to grow regular, novelty, heirloom, and, yes, flint – many flints pop! in 2018-2019 140 varieties were evaluated for disease, standability, popping volume, height, and emergence just to see what would grow here! There are many in the above categories that will grow well here. Some popcorn varieties grew so tall that to harvest I had to bend the plant down to pick the ear – not a good issue. Most of the varieties did well in both very wet and dry environments. Popcorn is not like field corn and it is not GMO, so you have limited options on weed control that have to be done upfront, and earworm control means you still will have to spray if it is bad. Starter fertilizer is always best with, if possible, some fertilizer put on at 5 leaf stage. The varieties looked at came from all over the world, including USA, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Bolivia. More on popcorn to come!