Dakota Black Popcorn - Organic

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Dakota Black Popcorn - Organic

Zea mays
(100 days) Open-pollinated. Outstanding in our observation plots two years in a row. Compact plants with one ear each. Our tasters rated the popcorn “Oh, so scrumptious.” In addition to their popping qualities, Dakota Black’s 4½" dark maroon-black ears with 15 rows are extremely decorative, a must for the fall roadside stand. 4' stalks. Independent Breeder.


675 Dakota Black - Organic
Item Discounted
Price
A: 1oz for $4.00  
B: 8oz for $18.00  
C: 1lb for $33.00  
D: 5lb for $145.00   ($137.75)
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Additional Information

Popcorn

Seed counts vary widely among varieties. Market grower Jason Kafka says that popcorn is a wonderful novelty for CSA shares. Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of it per year. Why not try growing some?

Corn

  • About 85–200 seeds/oz. 1 oz packet sows 25 ft, 1 lb sows 400 ft.
  • Seeds per packet vary, open-pollinated selections average 100 seeds/oz, normal sugary varieties 140 seeds/oz, and SE cultivars with shrunken seeds 150-160 seeds/oz.
  • Days to maturity are from emergence after direct sowing; for transplants, subtract 20 days.

Culture: CAUTION: Untreated sweet corn seed will not germinate in cold wet soil. Please be patient and wait till soil warms to at least 60° before sowing, or start seedlings indoors and transplant at 3–6" before taproots take off. Minimum soil temperature 50°, optimal temperature range 60–95°. Tender, will not survive frost. Heavy nitrogen requirements. Rows 3' apart, 4 seeds/ft. Thin to 1' apart. When corn is knee-high, sidedress with azomite or alfalfa meal to stimulate growth. Plant in blocks of at least 4 rows to ensure adequate pollination, essential for good tip fill. If you lack sufficient space for enough plants for good pollination, try hand-pollinating by cutting off the tassels and shaking their pollen onto the silks. Sweet corn is ready 18–24 days after the first silks show, the exact time dependent on the weather in the interim. Press ears 2" from the tips to assess kernel fullness. Harvest when the kernels are plump, soft, tender and filled with a milky juice. Most sugary enhanced varieties have an optimal picking window of 5–7 days, but some open-pollinated selections hold only 1–2 days.

Corn Insect Pest Control

Corn Earworm
Cultural controls: use resistant varieties with tight husks such as Bodacious RM or Silver Queen, choose short-season varieties, release trichogramma wasps. (Beneficial insects are available at insectary.com or 800-477-3715.)
Material controls: Bt kurstaki, Spinosad.

European Corn Borer (ECB) and fall armyworm
Cultural controls: mow and disk old corn stalks into the soil, release trichogramma wasps (found to give better control than insecticides in research by Cornell’s IPM program on five organic farms) for ECB; none known for fall armyworm.
Material controls: Bt kurstaki, Spinosad.

Flour, Flint, Dent... Corn!

Flour corn has soft starchy kernels easily ground into flour. Flint corn has hard flinty kernels that store well and is often used to make corn meal, polenta or grits. Dent corn with indented kernels is eaten fresh as elote or dried and ground into fine cornmeal flour, or used in alkaline cooking processes to make masa, tortilla chips or pozole. (Dent is also most commonly used for processed foods and ethanol production.) Field corn can be any of the above when used as animal feed, though most typically dent is used. (Also see Field corn from Organic Growers Supply).

Sweet corn first appeared in commerce in 1828 and became popular a generation later. The first crop to be hybridized; most of the open-pollinated varieties disappeared between 1930 and 1970. All sugary enhanced sweet corn traces back to a single inbred developed in the 1960s in Illinois by Dr. Dusty Rhodes, ILL677a. Our trialers have found SE corn to be especially suitable to our climate, with good cool-soil tolerance and a near-perfect blend of sugars and corn flavor.

Testing: To help ensure the purity of our seed, we have for the past seventeen years employed industry leader Foodchain ID (formerly Genetic ID) to test samples of our sweet corn lots for the presence of transgenic contamination. Because of the risks posed by production of genetically engineered Roundup Ready beets, we have added beet and chard varieties to our GE testing program. We remove any seed lots that test positive for transgenic contamination. A negative test result does not guarantee genetic purity but improves the chances seed is uncontaminated. The tests are expensive, but in a time of genetic roulette they are necessary, though not sufficient. Only if the seed trade takes an adamant position that it will not tolerate GE contamination in products can we maintain any integrity in our seed supply.

Germination Testing

For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.