When I said something to a friend about hand pollinating my sweet corn, she was surprised.
According to the University of Florida's extension article about hand-pollinating garden vegetable crops:
"Two methods of pollen transfer may be used with corn.
Cut an entire tassel, and use it as a wand, shaking pollen grains (dust) onto the silks. Alternatively, strip the tassel and deposit the pollen from the anthers directly onto the silks. Either way, the pollen is transferred.
Be thorough when dusting the pollen onto the silks,
so chances for a bountiful harvest are increased."
I usually collect pollen by running my hand up the tassels, then sprinkle it on the silks protruding from the corn that is developing.
A few other sweet corn growing tips:
Corn needs lots of nitrogen, so don't skimp on fertilizing. Don’t plant your seeds too close together, and hand pollinate.
Corn plants tend to have shallow roots, so putting some soil at the base for support can help .
Use the stalks afterwards for fall/Halloween decorations!