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8
Sweet Corn

There are corn fields all across the United States, but if you're thinking of growing it, there are some decisions you need to make.

©iStockphoto.com/YinYang

Farmers across the nation grow corn, yet strategic choices are integral to producing a successful crop. When selecting the varieties you're going to plant, be careful about planting certain ones, such as super-sweet and sugar-enhanced plants, together. These can cross pollinate and produce ears with field corn kernels that don't taste that good [source: Coolong and Bradley & Courtier].

You'll also need a good amount of space and correct placement to grow corn properly. "Typically, corn is wind-pollinated," says Timothy Coolong, Ph.D., extension vegetable specialist for the University of Kentucky. "The pollen comes off the tassel at the top of the plant and then goes down to the silks that come off the ear of the corn; that's how it's pollinated."

Due to wind pollination, the corn crop needs to be planted in a square shape with at least 15 to 20 plants [source: Coolong and Bradley & Courtier].

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