Corn in the MV-1

Yes, you can grow corn in the MV-1. When I stopped the experiment at 24 days, I didn’t have full size, mature plants, but they were developing brace roots.
This was a quick experiment to see what was possible, and was more for testing computer vision. The corn was from a bag of wildlife feed, so I don’t even know the variety or genetics.
It was interesting to see that the leaves were more striped than solid green. Further testing would need to be done (with known varieties) to see is this was genotype or phenotype.
Results are here. Go to search and look up the experiment MVX_Corn, then you can look at the images and phenotype data. The phenotype data is explained more in this post.

Leaves got a little toasted in the LEDs

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@hmw I’m honestly super impressed - I can’t believe you got this done so quickly!

What were your recipe settings - just regular ambient temp? Max light? What kind of media? Any fertilizer?

ChatGPT analysis of your corn - I think it’s right about nitrogen deficiency

The corn plants in the images provided show certain characteristics that can be assessed for health:

  1. Coloration: The leaves exhibit a variegated pattern, displaying stripes of yellow and green. While variegation is a trait in some plants, in corn, uniform green coloration is generally indicative of better health. The yellow striping may suggest a deficiency, most commonly of nutrients such as nitrogen.
  2. Leaf Condition: The leaves appear to be intact without noticeable lesions or physical damage, which is a good sign. However, there is some curling of the leaves, which might indicate heat stress or inadequate water supply.
  3. Growth Medium: It seems that the corn is being grown in individual containers with what looks like a coconut coir-based medium. This medium is typically used for its water retention and aeration properties. However, nutrient management needs to be closely monitored as coconut coir has no inherent nutrients.
  4. Hydroponic Setup: Given the artificial lighting and the enclosed setup, it appears these plants are grown in a hydroponic system. Hydroponics requires precise management of nutrients and pH levels of the water solution, which are critical for plant health.
  5. Lighting: The plants are under artificial lighting, which seems to be LED grow lights. Proper light spectrum and intensity are crucial for plant growth. If the lights are too intense or too close to the plants, it could cause stress or burn the leaves.

Overall, while the corn plants are alive and growing, the yellow striping suggests that there may be some issues with nutrient levels or uptake. Ensuring proper nutrient balance, pH level, and adequate lighting would be key steps in improving their health. If these factors are in balance and the variegation persists, it may be worth consulting with a plant specialist or agricultural extension service for further advice, as this could be a genetic trait or a sign of a more specific issue.

Regarding genetics

I know there’s a lot of interest nowadays from industry even in ‘short’ corn varieties like Bayer Short Stature Corn:

I also found these Dwarf Corn seeds (50 seeds for ~$20) from Carolina Biological which are described as “This is a very small dwarf plant that grows to a height of approximately 12 to 15” at maturity. Produced by the homozygote of allele d5."

Chat is pretty much on point, recognizing the medium
Using General Hydroponics MaxiGro (10-5-14) 1 tsp/gal. This may be at the low end of the range, as it says you can use 1 to 2 tsp.
Using Coco Coir as the medium.
This is the recipe (different trial name, but same values)
trial={“_id”:“MVX_Snap_1”,“model_name”:“Snap1Recipe”,“recipe_name”:“MV03.12.2024_testrecipe”,“recipe_variable”:“Airflow - ON, Temperature - 95, Irrigation - 100ml/hr, Light max 24 hr”,“phases”:[{“name”:“fluctuations”,“phase_start”:0,“step”:[{“circulation_fan”:[{“start_time”:[0,0],“setting”:0}]},{“temperature”:[{“start_time”:[0,5],“setting”:78},{“start_time”:[10,5],“setting”:78}]},{“pump_amount”:[{“start_time”:[0,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[1,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[2,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[3,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[4,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[5,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[6,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[7,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[8,15],“setting”:100},{“start_time”:[9,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[10,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[11,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[12,15],“setting”:100},{“start_time”:[13,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[14,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[15,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[16,15],“setting”:100},{“start_time”:[17,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[18,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[19,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[20,15],“setting”:100},{“start_time”:[21,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[22,15],“setting”:10},{“start_time”:[23,15],“setting”:10}]},{“light_intensity”:[{“start_time”:[0,1],“setting”:[0,0,0,0]},{“start_time”:[8,3],“setting”:[255,255,255,255]},{“start_time”:[22,3],“setting”:[0,0,0,0]}]}]}],“recipe_id”:“63209a57fd7280317616272e”,“trial_name”:“MVX_Corn_1”,“device_id”:“60f1a223786cb0a4a6a5a175”,“device_name”:“MVX_HW”,“start_date”:1712243515.497174}

If you have some ideas for a different recipe, send it to me.
Give me a bit of time to grow out what I have in the box now, and I can start another corn trial. I can use a different medium (potting soil) and double the fertilizer dosage.

That’s a very interesting approach to a recipe - having it do 10 ML every hour and then 100 ML every few hours - any reasoning behind that?

Definitely would go on the higher end for the nutrients. I don’t know about photoperiod requirements but if you’re able - you’ll want to go a full 24 hours at max light if possible. That should give you about 30 DLI - which is on the low end of what corn would require to go full cycle. I’d take temperature up to 86F as well (75F now it looks like) - which is max for corn (I think) but that should give us about a 1:1 with a growing degree day. So whatever the corn says on the package for what it requires to make it to maturity should be a pretty good estimation using that recipe now.

It seems to have no problem with ‘wet feet’ in the coco coir but you may have issues in potting soil if it’s constantly wet. You might consider taking out the wicking mat - if you haven’t already.

This fertilizer might be a good indicator of what corn actually wants: Jung Sweet Corn Jump-Start Fertilizer 22-34-11, Fertilizers & Growth Boosters: J.W. Jung Seed Company


I know that several other MV1 users have been interested in growing larger (taller) plants too. Last summer we grew a bunch of peppers/tomatoes in some MV1s. I used strings to ‘tie’ the tomatoes back - constantly pulling them away from the lights. Then what I did to get more vertical space was convert the irrigation system into using an external reservoir - by getting a longer tube for the hose and running the intake tube out the top. I found some collapsable 5-gallon jugs for camping on Amazon that worked pretty great for this - and also just used reservoirs with lids.@hmw @Surendra @cregini @speck_c @Jamira

You would need to reduce the amount of water you’re adding to be calibrated to be closer to what the plant is actually using. I just put a lunch tray with a towel on it underneath the flood tray though and was careful about it. Not recommending this to everyone until we’re able to offer a kit for this - I’m thinking just a shorter clear bottom reservoir that would be easy to observe when too much water was being added would be a good path to explore.

I have a hybrid variety for containers call "On Deck Hybrid (Sh2)

I will assign a student to grow some and report on that!

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