Thursday, September 24, 2015

Corn looks better than expected, esp compared to neighbors corn

This is a corn geek sort of entry; I'm looking at my year-end corn results and comparing them to a neighbors corn crop.  

 A week later and the corn is showing dents and ripening nicely.   Using a corn yield estimator I'm getting an estimated yeild of 236 bushels per acre, which is considerably higher than the promoted yield of 150 bushels per acre.  

Most stalks have 2 ears, some have 3 ears.  average 2.3 ears per corn stalk
the top ear is one of mine, the bottom is the neighbors corn that's about 2 weeks ahead of mine
The yield numbers seem very high; that's 6.5 tons of grain corn per acre; if the estimators right I'm going to end up with a lot more corn than I thought I would -- I was aiming for 80 tons, now it looks like I'm going to get something closer to 130 tons.  That is a lot of corn.  My biggest bins are only 15 tons each, so if it does come in anywhere close to the estimate I'm going to have to find a place to store 100 tons of corn.  That's actually a problem I'm hoping that I have.

(if you want to run your own estimator math, I'm using 30" rows, 8" between the plants, and an average of 40 harvestable ears per 1/1000 of a row or 40 ears per 17'5")
Neighbors corn

The neighbors corn was planted for use as silage to feed dairy cows, and it's a different corn than what I planted.  It has one ear per corn stalk, and the ears are smaller.  My ears have 41 kernels average length, with 14 kernels average diameter.  The neighbors ears have 32 length and 11 diameter, but the biggest difference is that my corn has multiple ears per stalk and his only one ear per bushel -- using the same corn estimator, I'm getting 200+ bushels per acre and he's getting 80.

The field that the neighbor is using has been continuous corn for at least the 3 years I've been watching; this is the first year of corn for mine, and that may explain the yield difference too.

Saturday I'll be hooking the corn head up to the combine and getting everything greased and ready to go.  We're probably at least weeks if not a month from combining it, but if there's any wrinkles I'd like to get them worked out now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The cornwatch

 I look at the corn every few days; grab an ear from each of the three fields and look to see how they're progressing.  The little bit of unpollinated corn at the very tip tells me that I've got my population a little too low -- I probably could have planted a little closer together, but overall the corn looks good.  The three fields are similar; the one on the left is the top field, the right is the bottom field.  The middle field is the largest of the three.
 I'm looking for a milk line in the kernels to measure the progress towards being ripe.  The milk line is present in these kernels; you can see it as a whiter area of each corn kernel.  that line will progress until the whole kernel is the same color, and then as the kernel dries it'll form a little dent in the end, hence the common term for this sort of corn:  dent corn.
 Having looked at the cobs, I toss them to a waiting pig; the pigs like it a little bit sweet, so a little milky and unripe is just what they like the best.  this pig stands on it to make it easier to bite the kernels off, and is oinking with pleasure when she does this.  They also eat the green husk leaves.  A little salad with the main course.
Most of the corn plants have 2 ears on them; some have 3.   This is the first time I've grown commercial quanties of corn, so it's a little nerve racking for me; lots of things can still go wrong.

It's pumpkin season again at the farm

Pumpkin eatin' pig
We get 2,000lb totes of pureed pumpkin at this time of year.  Each of these totes makes about 12,000 pumpkin pies, and it seems like every year something goes wrong; one year a forklift driver drove their forks through the sides of one, and spilled pumpkin all over the whole stack.  So we got the whole stack.

With this one the truck driver delivering it didn't keep it at the right temperature and it got rejected by the bakery, so we got the call, and the boar in the picture above had a great time plunging his face into the pumpkin puree.

Happy thanksgiving, pigs!