Wednesday, August 3, 2011

You're doing WHAT ?

Growing seed corn causes one to do unusual things.  For instance, we planted at nearly 40,000 population (that's at least 1/3 more than normal for most folks around here) and put a 13th row on the planter to do it
To plant the desired pattern of 1 pollinator (male) row and 4 seed producing rows (female) with a 12 row planter you have 2 choices.  You can either plant the male rows separately or add a 13th row.  The 13th row is set up to plant half the desired population because when you turn around and come back through the field it is replanting on the row it just planted. It gives a pattern like this:

That is great .... except they are not going to harvest the seed with a 4 row picker. So after detasseling is done and pollination is finished a contractor comes through and destroys the male rows.  We used to do it ourselves, but the companies we have been growing for the last few years would rather do it themselves.  So we sold our old Hagie Ag Tractor we used to knock down and destroy the male rows.
It had reached the point it wasn't profitable to use.  With current fuel prices it cost $20 an hour just for fuel.  We just let the seed company take care of it.
Yes, there is a lot of grass in the field. I took this from on top of the irrigator pivot.  There is an area around the pivot you can't plant, and an open spot with plenty of water is a great place for fall panicum and foxtail.  Now I can come in and spot spray some Roundup and clean it up.

So, we planted the half the male corn, then came back a few days later and planted the rest of the male and all the female.  We've cultivated
and ran the aerator through it. 
It's been sprayed
Actually, sprayed several times.
and detasseled
 and the male rows knocked down
And will be harvested around 30% moisture, picked on the ear. .
It is an interesting crop

1 comment:

  1. That is interesting. Never heard the whole story; or at least what would seem the whole story! I bet there is more to it than you are letting on:-) I even wondered awhile back what a "corn picker" would look like today if it was a viable machine like it was in my time and before. Someone pointed out the machines like the one you posted. Even more interesting.