Wapsie Valley Corn - OrganicAnnual grass. Up to 9'. Frost-sensitive. 85 days to mature grain. Open-pollinated heirloom dent corn dating back to 1850 is two-color, producing ears of either all coppery red or all dark yellow kernels. It produces huge stalks and large well-formed ears.
A favorite with Maine’s organic dairy farmers, from Two Loons Farm in South China to Sheepscot Valley Farm in Whitefield. We tried other corn varieties and Wapsie bested all the competition in our sales numbers. Plant as soon as the soil is warm (at least 60°). While corn will establish poorly in cool soil, late planting decreases yields. Corn requires high fertility (plant after legumes in your crop rotation) and does not like to have wet feet. It competes poorly with weeds and requires frequent cultivation to perform well. Overseed white clover or annual ryegrass after the final cultivation to reduce the risk of erosion and discourage late-germinating weeds.
Corn has gotten a bad reputation because of the environmental damage caused by millions of acres of heavily sprayed corn monocropped in middle America, and the damage to public health caused by out-of-control corn subsidies. But you can grow corn responsibly in an organic rotation; in moderation it is a valuable part of the human diet; and it can be a boon to livestock growers seeking to meet their animals’ energy needs on limited acreage.
As food: Starchy dent corn grinds easily to a yellow cornmeal flecked with maroon. Also great nixtamalized to make masa for tortillas or tamales. A surprise star in OGS staffer John Paul Rietz’s cornbread tasting, even besting Floriani Flint corn. Seed at 15#/acre, ½#/1000 sq ft.
As feed: Wapsie is a high-yielding and reliable silage corn. For grain, open-pollinated corn has 25% more protein than hybrid corn. Wapsie grain has tested as high as 10.75%. Seed at 20#/acre.
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