Creating A Corn Maze: Fun and Surprisingly Cutting-Edge
Creating a corn maze is a sure sign that summer is over and autumn is here. As a kid, corn mazes were a fun part of fall, but as adults they also represent the opportunity to make a little extra money as well as bring some of that childhood joy to a new generation.
It turns out that you simply can’t escape computer technology in our modern age. Would you believe that there is software designed to help in creating a corn maze? Some of these systems even allow you to use your corn field’s GPS coordinates to show you what potential maze designs would look like prior to building, and you can also import pre-existing templates from professional maze designers instead of constructing together your own. Some of this software is accurate within eight feet, allowing for near pinpoint precision in an enormous maze.
Technology can take you even further if you want to automate some aspects of your maze construction. Automated tractor and planter systems can ensure a crisscross corn planting pattern that eliminates the traditional corn rows that provide natural paths through your field. When it comes time to cut, GPS-guided tractors and harvesters can use connected farm systems to receive guidance directly from the corn maze design software. This will even take into account local topography to ensure the lushest corn walls possible.
Is An Outside Crew The Answer?
Of course, if you want to relax after a long harvest season and avoid making a high tech investment, you can always hire a crew to build the maze for you. Most corn mazes are cut from corn silage that grows well late in the season. It is planted after sweet corn has already been brought to market and is cut when the corn reaches three to six inches in height. You can find companies willing to design and cut your maze for you, which can be a real time saver considering that more elaborate maze designs can take as long as three weeks to build (and almost 40,000 seeds per acre to plant for maximum density).
If you plan on creating a corn maze yourself, there is a lot to be done. Begin by cross-planting your corn to get the right-angle rows you’ll need to maximize density. Next, choose your design, either from an online service, a software package or your own imagination. Then you’ll want to start your cuts while the corn is still short, as you’ll have an easier time with the weed whackers, typically used for this part of the maze creation process, if the corn hasn’t fully grown yet. Get as many people as you can to help you cut, as you don’t want to spend days on end lost in your own maze. You can also use GPS-enabled farm equipment working in teams (especially if you have a larger maze). Finally, you’ll need signs and advertising to let people know where to find your maze, and what they’ll need to do once they get there.
Whether you are looking to beat the world record for biggest corn maze or just want a fun project for the whole family, as long as you’re having a blast building it, your corn maze adventure is sure to be well worth all the effort.
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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons