Q&A: What types of corn do we farm in Ontario?

Did you know that you can submit your own questions about grain farming to Good in Every Grain? One reader recently asked us about the different types of corn that we grow in Ontario. Here’s our response:


In Ontario, we grow three types of corn: sweet corn (the kind you eat), popcorn, and grain corn (also called dent or field corn).

Sweet corn:
This is a vegetable crop and is harvested in July when the corn is moist and sugary – delicious for eating. This type of corn represents about 5% of all corn grown in the province and is the type that you buy in farmers markets or at roadside stands.

Popcorn:
This is a variety of corn that is harvested towards mid fall – it makes a great movie snack. This type of corn represents only about 1% of all corn grown in the province and is produced more in the southwest area of the province.

Grain corn:
This is a grain crop and is harvested in the fall, once the crop is dry and the starch content is high. Typically, it is harvested in October, but sometimes conditions drag harvest into November. Last year in 2014, because of late planting and a wet fall, some farmers were still harvesting in December. This type of corn represents nearly 95% of all corn grown in the province and is used for livestock feed (cattle, pigs, chickens), ethanol fuel, and sweeteners.

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