Corn is wind-pollinated and should be planted in blocks of at least 4 rows for good pollination to occur. Sweet corn can also cross-pollinate with other types of corn. If sweet corn is planted downwind of popcorn or field corn, kernels will be starchy instead of sweet. Cross-pollination between white and yellow cultivars will change the colors of the kernels. Extra-sweet and standard cultivars also should not be planted near each other or at the same time. To prevent cross-pollination problems, sweet corn should be separated from different types of corn by at least 400 yards, different types or cultivars of corn should be planted at least 1 month apart, or cultivars with different maturity dates should be planted.
Meg Moynihan, Principal Administrator
Minnesota Farm Opportunities
Ag Marketing & Development Division