WSU Extension Q&A: An ideal time to plant sweet corn

WSU ExtensionJune 6, 2014 


Indulge your appetite for sweet corn by shopping farmers markets, roadside stands and local grocers for freshly picked ears, then crunching your way around cob after cob after cob. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune/MCT)


Q. What is a good planting date for sweet corn?

A. Sweet corn can be planted anytime from the beginning of April to the second week in June in the Columbia Basin. Earlier plantings are subject to frost damage and rot, while later plantings may not have enough time to reach full maturity and may be susceptible to corn earworm infestation.

Q. There are little flakes on my pickled asparagus. What are they? Is the asparagus safe?

A. These flakes are called rutin and occur naturally in canned asparagus. The asparagus is perfectly safe to eat as long as it was prepared and processed correctly.

Q. What treatment thresholds are available for spraying alfalfa weevil?

A. Alfalfa weevil larvae are about 0.375 inches long, yellow to green, with a white stripe down the back. The Pacific Northwest Insect Control Handbook states that alfalfa weevil larvae feed in and on the buds and leaves of alfalfa. Treat when 30 percent of plant terminals show feeding damage. Either cut and then treat stubble or treat the standing crop, depending on how close to cutting it is; if damage is noticeable one week or more before estimated cutting time, and larvae exceed (10 per 90-degree sweep; sometimes called a straight-line sweep) or larvae number 20 or more per sweep (180-degree sweep, sometimes called a half-circle sweep).

Also, please note most insecticides are hazardous to bees and should not be applied if bees are actively foraging in the alfalfa. See more at

Q. How can I find out what the nutritional requirements are for my livestock?

A. Nutrient requirements of all species of livestock change with season, temperature and physiological status (age, pregnancy, etc.). Knowing the nutrient requirements of your animals is extremely important in matching your feed to the needs of the animal. The National Research Council has published nutrient requirements for many classes of animals and livestock, including beef cattle, horses, small ruminants, swine, poultry, dogs, cats and fish. They are updated periodically to stay current. Farmers can learn a lot about the nutritional needs of their animals from these publications. They are available from the National Academy Press at

-- Questions should be called in to the WSU Extension offices in Kennewick at 735-3551 or Pasco at 545-3511.

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