Baby corn cultivation for livelihood in NEH region

Vishram Ram, D. Thakuria, AK Singh, PK Bora and Lala IP Ray
Cond from previous issue
But continuous rain during kharif season poses a serious problem in which the soil becomes wet and any agricultural operation cannot be done, under such situations Atrazine or Simazine either of these herbicides may be applied immediately after sowing of the crop. The rate of application varies from 1.0 to 1.25 kg of a.i. ha-1 in light soils and 1.25 to 1.50 kg of a.i. ha-1 in heavy soils, the recommended dose of herbicides dissolve in 1000 liters of water and sprayed evenly on the soil surface just after sowing, herbicide application should be done only when soil having sufficient soil moisture, a field should not be disturbed for initial three to four days.
Crop Protection
Apply bleaching powder to prevent the attack of mole cricket to optimize the plant population per hectare. Apply phorate 10 G 40 kg/ha at the time of sowing or spray neem seed kernel extract 5% or neemazal 1% as a precautionary measure when the crop is 20-25 days old.
Baby corn is an immature part of the female flower, removing the male flower (tassels) is essential to maintain the quality of baby corn. Remove the tassel of the plant as soon as it emerges from the flag leaf prior to pollen grains shedding in the plant to avoid pollination.
Ears are ideal for baby corn if they are bite size: 2-4 inches long and 1/3-2/3 inch in diameter at the base, or butt end. To meet these criteria, harvest ears 1 to 3 days after silks become visible. Harvest baby corn every 2-3 days. At this early stage of ear development, the ear can grow very quickly, becoming too large in just 4-5 days. Some field corn varieties may need to be harvested before the silks emerge. To best determine the appropriate time to harvest for a given variety, harvest a few ears each day starting as soon as the ears appear on the stalk.
· Harvest individual ears by hand. Each picking requires the same amount of time and labor that would be required to harvest hand-picked sweet corn. Most varieties should produce marketable ears for 3-4 weeks, though very early varieties may have a shorter harvest period of 2 weeks.
· For baby corn as a primary crop, harvest all ears. A single planting may be harvested 9-12 times over a period of 3-4 weeks. The close in-row spacing results in more high-quality primary ears per acre. Most varieties will produce 2-3 ears per plant; however, quality of the third ear may not be adequate.
· For baby corn as a secondary crop, harvest the second ear from the top of the plant for baby corn and allow the top ear to mature for sweet corn or field corn. This method allows growers to use the secondary ear which otherwise may not mature for sweet corn production or contribute greatly to fodder yield.
When crop is grown with the improved agronomic practices then the crop produces about Tender cob (baby corn with husk) 5550 to 6660 kg per hectare and 32.2 to 35 tons Green fodder per hectare.
Marketing and Processing
Baby corn can be marketed as fresh husked/dehusked young cobs, canned products and pickles. Baby corn can be canned in a solution of brine (3%), sugar (2%) and citric acid (0.3%).
For further details contact:- Public Relation & Media Management Cell, CAU, Imphal. Email: [email protected]