Generally, most varieties of sweet and field corn produce one or two ears per stalk. Early maturing sweet corn produces a single ear, while late maturation types produce two. Only the first ear produced is sold because the second ear is smaller and inferior in quality.
Field corn, used for oils, silage and processed corn products, produces two ears late in the corn season. This variety of corn lacks the sugars of sweet corn and is generally starchy and flavorless. It tends to produce larger ears and takes longer than sweet corn to mature. Some field corn varieties are used specifically to grow baby corn. These possess a mutation to produce six to 10 ears of corn per plant. The immature ears are harvested immediately after the first silk shows.