This time of year is fun. Harvest is within sight. The ears and kernels are all there. Now curious farmers like me are checking moisture and “guesstimating” yields. Whether it’s a smaller ear like this one or a gigantic “cherry-picked” ear, there’s something about shelling the kernels off the ear that’s always intrigued me.
The Blank Slate is a variable piece of ground, so taking a close guess at the final yield is not quite as easy as many of our other fields. I’ll leave that to the combine (although I’m playing with some numbers in my head).
For today, I wanted to give you a look at some of that variability in the kernel size, moisture, and test weight. What I did was to pull some random ears as I walked from the highest hilltop on the Blank Slate down the sidehill and into the west valley of the farm. Here’s what it looked like.
I should mention that all these pictures will come from the 15 gallons of liquid fertilizer in the furrow at planting time trials. The first picture is from the hilltop where the corn looks pretty good overall. The test weight will come up as the corn dries down, plus we measured it with an electronic tester that’s normally a little light.
The kernel size is noticably smaller and the test weight and color of the kernels is less desirable as well when you start heading down the sidehills. This is really the weak spot of the Blank Slate. There really isn’t much topsoil as you come down the sidehills and the organic matter is just not there either. I’ve got a lot of work to do on these parts of the field.
Finally, we get to the lower ground in the valley. I did lose a little crop to all the heavy rainfall this year, but not as much as I feared going into the year. This corn didn’t come from the lowest of lows. The thing I’m most interested in is that this was our last planted corn field (due to the lack of drainage tile in the lows). If the low ground on the last planted corn is down to 23% moisture (hand-shelled), that bodes well for harvest beginning very soon and dry corn to prevail.
Happy to be blogging again. Hopeful to be overly busy with harvest very soon.