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Growing Corn in the Cold (Video)

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's research team based in St. John's, Newfoundland, has developed a method using biodegradable mulch to grow corn in colder climates. It is helping to feed dairy cattle on the island and putting fresh cobs of corn into farmers’ markets. View this video to learn more.

Video Transcript

[An image and a maple leaf appear on screen. This is the title graphic for the video.]

[Light, acoustic music fades in.]

Text on screen: Growing Corn in the Cold; Solutions for Dairy Farms in Northern Regions

Narrator: Milk production is up...

[The video opens with an interior shot of a dairy barn. The cows are all enjoying a meal.] the Robert Walsh Dairy Farm in St. John's, Newfoundland...

[The shot changes to a different shot of the cows eating inside the dairy barn.]

...thanks in part to a crop...

[The shot changes to show a farmer examining an ear of corn.]

...that can now be grown in Newfoundland and Labrador's short growning season. Corn!

[Cut to a shot of a tractor applying plastic mulch to a couple of newly planted corn rows.]

It's growing with the help of this: a biodegradable plastic covering...

[Cut to a close up shot of new corn plants poking through the layer of plastic mulch.]

...over new corn rows that extends the growing season up to five weeks.

[Cut to a shot of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researcher Allan Kwabiah walking through a corn field.]

It's a technique that was developed for the island by...

[Cut to a close up shot of Allan Kwibiah examining a corn plant.]

...Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researcher Allan Kwabiah.

[Cut to a shot of researcher Allan Kwabiah standing in a corn field. He is speaking slightly off camera.]

Dr. Allan Kwabiah: It serves...

[Cut to a close up shot of a young corn plant poking through the plastic mulch. Several red arrows appear to show how the plastic captures heat and moisture against the soil, acting like a greenhouse for the young plant.] a greenhouse by warming up the soil and air...

[The shot returns to Allan Kwabiah standing in the corn field.] which the corn is seeded.

[The shot cuts back to the close up of the young corn plant poking through the plastic mulch. The red arrows also reappear.]

The temperature difference is about...

[The shot of the young corn plant slides to the right and half of the screen fills with white. Text appears on this new white area.]

Text on screen: Temperature difference of 8˚ to 10˚ centigrade

...eight to ten degrees centigrade between the soil and the air, inside the plastic mulch and outside.

[Cut to a shot of a farmer walking through a corn field.]

Narrator: Walsh is now among a group of dairy farmers in the province who are growing...

[Cut to an aerial shot of a corn field.]

...more than one thousand acres of the high-energy feed.

[Cut to a different shot of a young corn plant poking through a sheet of plastic mulch.]

The technique is also being used by...

[Cut to a shot of a young woman unloading fresh corn at a local produce market.]

...vegetable growers to deliver fresh, local sweet corn to consumers.

[Cut to a shot of several trucks lining up a at grain elevator.]

Shipping feed to Newfoundland's dairy farms...

[Cut to a close up of an ear of corn destined for animal feed.]

...has always been an added cost.

[Cut to a shot of corn being harvested.]

Now, island producers can reduce their feed costs with this local crop.

[Cut to a shot of a tractor applying plastic mulch to new corn rows.]

It's a technique worth considering for dairy and livestock producers in other northern regions in Canada.

[Cross dissolve to the end graphic for the video.]

Text on screen: Modern. Innovative. Growing. Discover other agricultural innovations at

[Light, acoustic music fades out.]

Text on screen: Canada, © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2016).

[Fade to black.]

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