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Thread: Corn!!!!

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  1. Default Corn!!!! 
    #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Hickory NC
    Posts
    351
    Well guys I want to make 1/3 of my haunt this year a corn field. I have never grown corn so how do you guys do it. What time should I plow the field? What is the tallest best corn to plant.? and How would I water a 2 1/2 acre field? When is the best time to plant it to be ready for the Halloween season?
    BLOOD, GUTS AND GORE!
    www.horrorfields.com
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Waverly, Iowa
    Posts
    658
    I'm sure Larry will have a couple pointers for you on this subject. He had a cornfield themed haunt as a part of his Creepyworld haunt a few years back... And from what I remember he had said that it was quite a hassle to grow the corn and then to keep it from being trampled from all the foot traffic. Hopefully he'll chime in and add his two cents!
     

  3. Default corn 
    #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, MD
    Posts
    235
    Corn is one of the most important elements to our haunt, and we have learned the hard way how to plant and which varieties. First, I would contact a local farmer and see if they will plant the corn for you. Go to your local feed and supply company and speak with a representative about successful varieties for your area.
    - We are in the Mid-Atlantic region, and we use a silage variety which is extra tall and has a strong stalk. This way, you have corn that is ready for heavy foot traffic.
    - Chose a 115-120 day maturity seed. There are "short season" corn varieties that are ready to harvest in 90 days, and there are long season varieties that are ready in 120 days. I believe ours is 117.
    - Plant your corn around the 1st of July, this way your corn is still maturing in October, and will not begin to dry until late October/early November. Your crop should be ready to harvest (if you chose to do so) by Thanksgiving. The first season we opened, we used a 90 day variety that was planted in the middle of May. The corn was dry and ready for harvest before we opened. This causes a major fire hazard. If the fire marshal asks questions, it is easy to get by when you will have plenty of moisture content in the corn when you're open.
    - When you plant your corn, make sure the farmer/planter cross plants the corn (plants in 2 directions). This will give you a tremendous amount of coverage.
    - (my numbers might be a little high) but plant your population at about 40,000 seeds per acre (each way you plant)
    - Make sure that you are prepared to cut your paths by the time the corn is knee high. You can use a roto-tiller or a lawn mower to keep your path clear. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT because you will hit yourself if you have to remove 8-10' stalks, and there is no easy way to do it. We did this 2 years in a row, and I will never make this mistake again.
    - FERTILIZE FERTILIZE FERTILIZE... its expensive, but if you try to skimp here... you could stunt your crop. Once again, a local representative or farmer can help you. (may not hurt to send in a soil sample too)
    - In design, try to keep paths at least 15' apart (if not more). When the leaves and ears drop by the end of the season, paths are significantly more visible at distances up to 15-20'.
    - It is probably a good idea to remove corn cobs within 2 rows of any walking path. The last thing you need is a customer grabbing a 12" corn cob and smacking one of your actors with it.
    - DO NOT let your actors 'make their own' paths in the corn... this has been a disaster for us in the past...
    - As for irrigation, find out what type of soils you have. This will help determine what level of irrigation you'll need. We are in a heavy clay-based soil which retains water for long periods of time. However, if it does not rain during the heavy growth part of the season (between 0 and 60 days), you may need to supplement your crop with water.
    If you have any questions feel free to shoot me an e-mail at Patrick(at)legendsofthefog.com
    Patrick Barberry
    www.legendsofthefog.com
     

  4. Default building inside corn maze... 
    #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    88
    Hey Patrick... awesome post! I had a quick question though, what do you think about the following.... do you think it's possible to build your haunt with small sheds, barns...etc inside the corn field, aka, use the corn just to create your paths to your scenes, small buildings...etc. Or do you think it would appear too monotonous for customers? It might work, but, from a marketing standpoint I don't know if a corn field haunt could be the primary show. If done right maybe not all corn and use fake would fences...etc could be very effective. On other hand, I don't know the cost of creating/maintaining a corn field "haunt" maze...

    jim
     

  5. Default Planting a cornfield is not cheap. 
    #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ravens Grin Inn, 411 carroll st.mount carroll ill.
    Posts
    12,840
    diesel fueled tractor, seed corn, labor, ex cetra. For many years when farmers would finally get to sell their corn they were lucky to make anything!
    Check out getting someone to plow and plant for you early because corn prices were at an all-time high late in the selling season and farmers might be devoting more acres to corn than before and their time then is very valuable.
    The previous post about having a cornfield was excellant and illustrated how knowledge does directly translate into profit, because you get to Not make mistake$ by using this information.
     

  6. Default  
    #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, MD
    Posts
    235
    Jim (1) - I like the idea to use a corn field with your buildings inside. One cool thing about a corn field. If you build your buildings similar to a "black bear structure" (common in our area) which are movable with equipment. You can plant your corn. Immediately place your buildings. the corn will grow up around them... then at the end of the season (after harvest) you can put your buildings away... My only suggestion is don't have long stretches of corn where your guests are unattended... thats the only thing that becomes monotonous.

    Jim (2) - You're right, corn is not cheap to plant. But if you find the right farmer to work with, you can do o.k. our yields in our devastated corn maze was still over 100 bushel/acre. If someone is already farming (maybe on an adjacent property) it will be easier to work something out. Also, if you're planting your corn in late June... you're already putting yourself at the end of the totem pole because the farmer is typically finished planting his corn, and is in between corn and wheat harvest. I am not guaranteeing that this will work, but I am rationalizing the relationship between a haunter's demand for corn and a farmer's annual schedule.

    Mistakes will always be made... you just need to do your homework to make sure you're in the right ballpark!
    Patrick Barberry
    www.legendsofthefog.com
     

  7. Default Good Luck! 
    #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    (the appropriately named) Killen, Alabama
    Posts
    238
    I would love info on sort of what your going to do with this. Corn fields are my favorite! Are you going to open this inside an existing attraction or as a side attraction?
     

  8. Default  
    #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    88
    I kinda thought it would be a neat idea, you could change your trail each year just by mowing down the corn differently. Using the relocatable black bear shed type structures is good idea, I'd probably have 3-4 semi-permanent larger structures... I'm going to need to get in contact with someone in the area that grows corn and see what the costs run, only way to get a true estimate I suppose. Sounds like you definitely need fertilizers, but, an irrigation system or sprinkler system... would run some bucks, it would be in southern ohio and does rain alot here ,at least this year it is again..lol
     

  9. Default Done this 10 years...full time farmer 
    #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    648
    I make a maze on one side of field...and a haunted trail on other side of field. Get with a local farmer NOW. Tour farm plots in your area each year in late sept. to select what varieties HOLD THIER LEAVES late into season. THEIR IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE. A farmer doesn't really want to plant for you when you want...liekley as soon as he finishes his fields before moving onto spraying or wheat harvest.

    I NEVER haunt a maze (anymore). The haunted trail is over 1/3 mile long with over 65 turns in it...so nobody sees what happens to group in front of them. trail folds back on itself many times so people here screams 30 feet away....but another minute and a half down the trail. I run a vortex tunnel inside a portable shed on outside of field. Then big animatronics like Scarefactory Impaler, Slayer, Scissor sereant came next to set mood or "thats cool" effect. had a few 8 x 12 huts along trail (people want to hesitate at shacks) "No...you go in first" then several actors and scenes.

    I plant one direction only at about 32,000 seeds per acre in 30" rows.
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    648
    Oh yeah. On shacks placed in fields. Make sure your spooks understand nobody wanders out of position and decides to scare someone coming out of a shack or does tag team scare inside unless safety trained for that spot. It is transition curtain from back of shack back to cornfield where customers would colide with each other more than any other spot along trail. Those inside are head down going for exit with 'get me out of here" attitude and people in front of group getting startled backwards back into shack is potential problem. Something about the 'get me out of here" back onto trail mentallity makes head smashing more violent than any other place.
     

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