How Many Ears of Corn Per Stalk? (Updated 2024)

How Many Ears of Corn Per Stalk

Are you curious about many ears of corn grow on one stalk? Stick around as we share the answer to this question along with some other interesting information.

How Many Ears of Corn Per Stalk?

How Many Ears of Corn Per Stalk

The quick answer is there’s only one ear on a stalk of corn. However, a corn stalk’s ear quantity can vary, depending on different factors.

On average, one stalk of sweet corn will yield 1-2 ears of corn. 

That said, six to ten ears of “baby” corn can be harvested from each stalk. Each cultivar has a different number of ears, as well as a diverse size range.

To acquire a lot of corn, you’ll have to take good care of it. The soil has to be rich in nutrients for corn to thrive, as it is a heavy feeder.

Originally, Native Americans would use fish heads to fertilize fields.

However, current producers use nitrogen solutions to provide adequate fertility. Corn demands sufficient water and exposure to direct sunlight.

Typically, hybrid cultivars require more water than traditional kinds to produce crisp and flavorful kernels.

There is a potential that corn or maize can produce branches or tillers, stalks that sprout after the first parent shoot emerges from the seed, like other grass species.

The shank is a tiny stalk-like structure that appears out of a leaf node in maize. These shanks can arise from leaf nodes in the center of the stalk. An ear of corn will grow out of this shank.

Sweet Corn vs. Field Corn

Ears of Corn

Sweet corn that matures early has just one ear, but corn that grows later has two harvestable ears. That said, commercial maize producers only pick the first ear, since the second ear lacks quality and size.

Various factors influence the quality of the ear, including pollination temperatures, soil nutrients, and water availability.

One to two ears are common for field corn, which makes maize oil, silage, and cornflakes. Field corn has high levels of starch and low sugars, making it a poor source of fresh food.

Field corn has more prominent ears because it grows taller and longer than sweet corn.

It’s possible to find kinds of field corn that yield six to ten ears per stalk.

Specifically, these varieties produce baby corn for use in salad and stir-fry bars. Baby corn is picked from regular corn plants when the ears are still immature, one to three days following the appearance of the silk.

At this early stage, there are very few crops to be harvested. Baby corn growers specifically use variants that yield a lot of ears.

Maturity of Ears of Corn

How Many Ears of Corn Per Stalk

Harvesting maize can take anywhere from 60 to 100 days, depending on the type and location. Harvest dates for maize vary from state to state due to a multitude of factors.

Even so, the maize usually is ready to start harvesting in the fall, around the middle of September.

Several indicators show when it is time to harvest the corn. Farmers usually harvest the ears three weeks following the initial appearance of the silks.

The silk should appear dark and dried. Pinch a kernel and the liquid will be creamy, not transparent, once you’ve peeled aside the husk just enough to expose the top of the ear.

If the liquid is clear, the ear isn’t yet ready. If the fluid is viscous, it may be a little too ripe. It’s possible to taste a raw kernel; it should be delicious and solid to the touch. An ear full of ripe kernels is the goal. 

Corn does not generate new ears once it is harvested. The plant is annual. Thus, it will die soon after harvest.


Due to their quick growth, most corn types produce one to two ears per plant. Sweet corn that matures early will only produce one ear, but corn that matures later will produce two ears.

Though certain variants exist allowing baby corn farmers to produce many ears per stalk. 


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