Thursday, July 17, 2014

"knee high by the fourth of july" - not my corn!

corn, 2nd week of july
After the custom-planting disaster earlier this year, my corn crop is late, but growing well.  This is an organic seed and being raised using organic techniques -- no herbicides, not pesticides, sunlight, soil, manure, rain.  
The goal of this crop is to provide high-quality winter feed for dairy cows.  

The challenge last year for the corn that I raised was that the weeds got away with the crop;  this hasn't really been a problem with this corn so far. there's a few weeds, but at this point it's clear that the corn is ahead of them, and they probably won't matter much.  Below you'll find two picture-pairs, taken two weeks apart.  

two week growth

There are a few weeds here and there, but the corn grows very fast and will shade out the majority of them.  I'll watch the growth and see if I need to plan on some sort of cultivation schedule, but so far so good.  

Looking at the corn plants, it's clear that one of the corn planters isn't working correctly; there are gaps and bunchs of corn in about 25% of the rows.   I think I know which one it is (I started planting going in one direction, and one of these rows isn't very good) so I know where to start on the fix.  

two week growth
This corn is planted on ground that had corn on it last year.  I did put out water from the manure lagoon, but I have to say I'm pretty curious how the corn will do.  This is cow corn -- the intention is to grow it and then chop it up and ensile it.   This is about 10 acres total; I'm expecting something like 200 tons of this corn silage this year.  


George said...

Check the brushes and plate on that seed hopper. Even a little wear on the brushes will cause the seed not to be held firmly against the plate.

Do you have a seed monitor on the tractor?

Steve said...

I'm just curious how far apart you corn plants are from each other? We planted corn this year after many years of not. We will eat some and the chickens some. We're having some issues with the plants falling over and wondered if they were planted wrong.

George said...

Our rows are placed 36" (many farms plant 30")apart. In the row each corn plant is around 6 or so inches apart IIRC.

Bruce King said...

Thanks george. I'll take a look at the brushes. I have the seed monitor unit but it wasn't used by the last guy and I'll have to figure it out.

What do the four lights indicate?

Bruce King said...

The corn is an average of 9" apart in the row and the rows are 30" apart. I've never had a problem with corn lodging (falling over)

George said...

The lights indicate whether or not seed is dropping at at what rate (roughly). There are also sensors inside the seed tube below the hopper. I keep a long handled soft bristle brush w/ the seeder, to clean off the sensors as they get dust/dirty throughout the day. Just take off the hopper, with the monitor powered up of course, and look down into the seed tube and you should see a red light.