Every time we attend the field day of Allied Botanical Corporation in its experimental farm in Tayug, Pangasinan, there is always a new possible project for agri-people that we discover.
Just like after Crisanto Alibuyog, a vice president of the company, showed us Baby Janet, a variety that is recommended particularly for the purpose of baby corn production.
Baby corn is what you and I usually see as an ingredient in chopsuey, salads and other popular dishes. It is the newly developing cob of the corn ear that is tender and sweetish.
Baby Janet, Cris said, is a prolific bearer. One plant usually produces three to four ears. And these are harvested in just 40 to 45 days from planting. Thus, the grower can have a quick turnaround in his production schedule. He can stagger his planting so that he will have a steady supply of his harvest.
Cris said that the baby corn can be sold through the supermarkets or in the ordinary markets. He said that one kilo could fetch as much as P800. Of course, one kilo of baby corn could reach hundreds of pieces.
The advantage of producing baby corn is that the plants are not exposed to possible risks for a long period. Damage by corn earworm is practically none since there are still no ears to damage. There is a shorter exposure to bad weather like strong winds, flooding as well as drought.
Another advantage is that the stoyer is still very fresh at harvest time so that the stalks can be an excellent feed for livestock. If one is enterprising, he can chop the fresh stalks and convert them into silage for feeding farm animals during the summer months when green grass is scarce.
We are told that there is an enterprising Korean who makes corn stalk silage and exports his product to Korea. One also can produce silage for the local market. It can be fed to dairy animals in confinement, for instance. Silage could also be fed to pigs and other animals.
Making silage is simple enough. For the small time entrepreneur, he can chop the stover and then store the same in an air-tight container, including a clear or black plastic bag.