In this article, I’ll give you some tips for metal detecting cornfields and any other type of crops. And I’ll list some of the difficulties you could face.
Tips to metal detect cornfields
In this paragraph, I’ll give you tips to hunt any type of fields. It doesn’t matter if it’s corn, soybean, wheat…
These tips are still valid regardless.
Make sure you visit the area right after the crops were harvested and to hunt it as fast as possible.
The field won’t stay like that forever. The farmer may burn the residue, spread manure, till it or disc it…
He has to plant seeds and get ready for the next season (you really don’t to be in the field when he’s using the manure spreader!)
The field is large, and there’s no grass to damage, so bring your shovel instead of the trowel.
Digging will be faster, a lot easier because you can use your weight, and you don’t have to keep bending whenever you dig a plug.
Always cover your plugs, some farmers feed the corn residue to their animals, they could trip in the hole you dug.
You want to leave a good impression, it doesn’t have to look pretty (the field is already messy) just cover it.
This will help you to come back to the same field another time. And will ease getting permission from neighboring farmers.
Bring a lot of water and snacks, you need to stay hydrated, snacks will keep you going if you feel hungry.
Don’t forget to bring with you extra batteries, a big bag to remove the trash if you want to go back again
Wear a safety vest to be clearly visible.
In European farms, you can find metal relics thousands of years old. This is not the case in the US.
Metals weren’t used on a large scale until the European arrived. Native Americans used stones to make their tools and weapons.
For this reason, you have to be strategic and look for areas with past human activity (no more than three centuries).
You don’t want to scan acres of land and end up with nothing. This is demoralizing.
There could be some ruins of old buildings in the cornfield. This is where you should find good targets.
To find them, look for pottery, broken bricks, glass… these are invisible to the metal detector.
However, nails are visible. If you find a high concentration of them in one spot, there could be the ruins of an old building.
Be careful from exposed old wells.
Houses were usually built on top of hills to stay away from floods.
Trees were planted near the house, some of them are for the shed, others are windbreakers.
So if you find a tree line on top of a hill, possibly, there was a house.
Old plat maps and aerial photos are super helpful. You can find maps of the same area in achronological order.
Compare them. If you find that a building no longer exists in recent versions, there’s a good chance that you can find good ancient targets.
When you ask for permission to hunt the field, ask the farmer if there were some old structure somewhere.
Difficulties that you could face detecting corn fields
After being harvested, cornfields look different from one to another.
In some of them, you’ll find a layer of corn residue. This means that the coil will not be in direct contact with the ground.
The depth range will be shortened by a few inches.
In other fields, you’ll find the remaining of corn stalks still erected. And the distance between the rows is limited.
This means that you can’t swing your detector comfortably. And it gets worse if your coil is large.
You can swing it back and forth instead of sideways. But most detectorists aren’t used to do it that way.
Some fields will be supper awesome. There’s no big mess. It doesn’t even look like a corn field, it’s too good to be true, like this video:
If you don’t like messy harvested fields, you can also go back after the field has been plowed. Some of the deep targets will resurface.