In the northeast there is a strong demand from consumers to have access to a wide range of locally produced food products. This demand creates opportunities for specialty value-added markets and crops to emerge. One market that has been gaining popularity and expanding recently in the northeast is the specialty corn market. Flint corn has very hard starch and can be ground and used in tortillas, tamales, corn meal, grits, and other products. Flint has a high proportion of hard starch in the kernel that produces a coarse meal. This is different than a soft-starch flour corn that, when ground, results in a fine flour. Dent corn is similar as it has a lower proportion of hard starch than flint corn, and thus forms a small dent on top of each kernel when mature (Figure 1). Flint and flour corn types, although recorded as being grown by Native Americans, have largely not been produced on a commercial scale in this region. However, new food entrepreneurs are looking to source local grain corn, producing potential value-added markets for local farmers. Therefore, it is important to evaluate both commercially available and locally saved flint, flour, and dent corn varieties to determine varieties that are well suited to our northern climate and produce economically viable yields and meet the quality expectations of this new market. The University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program conducted a flint and dent corn variety trial in 2019 to evaluate commercially available and locally saved corn varieties for yield, quality, and suitability to our northern climate. It is important to remember that the data presented are from a replicated research trial from only one location in Vermont and represent only one season. Crop performance data from additional tests in different locations and over several years should be compared before making varietal selections.
Vermont, University of Vermont, flint corn, corn, dent corn
Darby, Heather; Ziegler, Sara; Bruce, John; Krezinski, Ivy; and Malone, Rory, "Vermont Flint and Dent Corn Performance Trial" (2019). Northwest Crops & Soils Program. 348.