High tech production techniques and genetically altered new varieties provide more varied, yet more complex, opportunities for sweet corn growers in the Southeast.

In tests at several grower and research center locations in South Carolina several SH2 varieties proved highly adaptable for production.

Richard Hassell, associate professor of horticulture at Clemson University, says these new varieties may take some extra management time, but can be very profitable to growers.

“We only looked at sh2 varieties because of the broader range of harvest options. Some people like the extra crunchiness and extra tenderness, which are positive traits of these varieties, but being able to harvest young ears and the over-mature ones is also a benefit,” Hassell says.

Among the yellow Sh2 varieties, Xtra Tender 1178 ranked first in grower trials. Mirai 130 performed well, but produced shorter ears and did not do well in the packing end of production.

Among the bicolor Sh2 varieties tested, Mirai 301, a 78-day maturing variety was the top sweet corn in one on-farm test and performed well across all tests. Fantastic produced 496 48 count boxes per acre, making it among the highest yielding varieties in the test.

Among the white Sh2 varieties tested, Xtra Tender 282 showed high quality and high yields, but is an 82-day maturing variety. “Like most of the varieties we tested, this one is acceptable, but there are so many good varieties out there that have the same production advantages, plus 8-10 day earlier maturity dates,” Hassell says.

e-mail: rroberson@farmpress.com