How to Preserve Corn Seeds for Next Year's Harvest


Before there was a local farm store selling little paper seed packets at 99 cents a pack, farmers saved a portion of their own corn seed from year to year so that they could start the next year's crop. Farmers would typically save the seed from the best of their corn plants so that they could take advantage of the genetic health of that plant in order to improve their crop yearly. Today, you can continue this practice with your corn seed, producing an ever-increasing quality of corn yearly.

Step 1

Select the best of your corn stalks to harvest seed from. These should be the heartiest, most vigorous corn plants.

Step 2

Allow the corn to dry on the stalk.

Step 3

Remove the corn from the stalk and examine it. If corn is not yet completely dry, place it in a brown paper bag and store in a warm, dry place.

Step 4

Remove corn kernels from corn cob when it has completely dried. Kernels that are completely dry will have drawn back from their neighboring kernels, hardened and will easily separate from the cob with a little pressure.

Step 5

Place kernels in a paper envelope and write the variety of seed and the date on the outside of the envelope.

Step 6

Place envelope in a plastic food storage bag and place in a dry, dark place for storage.

Things You'll Need

  • Corn
  • Paper bags
  • Paper envelopes
  • Pen
  • Plastic food storage bags


  •, drying and storing your own seeds
  • Colorado State University Extension: Saving Seed
  • University of Illinois Extension: Saving Seed from the Garden

Who Can Help

  • Iowa State University Extension:Sweet Corn
Keywords: vegetable crops, saving seed, starting corn

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.