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Fun Fact Friday – What’s Going on in the Corn Field?

Jonathan, Anna, and I returned from vacation late Saturday. We had only been gone for four days, but the crops had changed a lot in those four days. On Sunday afternoon, Jonathan and I took the Ranger out for a little crop tour.

We checked the sky before we left. Sunshine to the north, a few big clouds, but no rain.

Checking the sky before we went on our tour

Checking the sky before we went on our tour

We took the Polaris Ranger so we could drive through the ditches or on the edges of the fields a little easier. Ok. We took the Ranger because it’s fun!

Riding in the Ranger

Riding in the Ranger

We looked at the barley and field pea field first. Jonathan was hoping it would be ready to harvest on Monday. It was too wet, so only the edges have been combined. Next, we went to one of the corn fields that appeared in our flame weeding video.

Jonathan brought a tape measure out, so we measured a few stalks of corn. They measured 9 feet tall!

The corn is as high as an elephants eye...or 9 feet

The corn is as high as an elephants eye…or 9 feet

Corny...

Corny…

After we measured the height, we went looking for the baby ear. To find the ear, we looked near the base of a leaf, and near a joint in the stalk. You can see the the very top of the husks peeking out.

The baby ear, before the silks emerged

The baby ear, before the silks emerged

We peeled back the leaves to reveal the corn in its husk.

Baby corn husk

Baby corn husk

Next, we peeled back the husks to find the mini ear. You can see the silks and the tiny kernels.

Silks and tiny kernels are ready for action

Silks and tiny kernels are ready for action

Even at this early stage, you can see how many rows this cob of corn would have. There should be an even number of rows. This one had 16.

Counting the rows

Counting the rows

Even field corn tastes sweet at this stage. I prefer to eat sweet corn, though!

IMG_9847b

Scouting can make you hungry!

After our tour of the corn, we went over to one of the soybean fields. We selected a random plant, and checked it over for signs of soybean aphids, root health, and nitrogen nodules on the root system. Thankfully, all things looked really good. The soybeans are blossoming here, so we’re hoping for nice rains and moderate temperatures.

Soybean plant

Soybean plant

Our last stop was the wheat. It is a bit behind the barley & peas, so it won’t be ready to harvest for another week or two yet.

Wheat field

Wheat field

That semi dark cloud that was over the windmill? It started raining on us when we were about 1/2 mile from home. It rained just enough to get us wet, then the sun came back out. Figures!

Please check out my friend’s blogs. Dairy Carrie wrote about Corn Sex, and Brian Scott wrote about Corn Porn. Both are great at explaining how corn is pollinated. Give ’em a read, you won’t be disappointed!

Posted in agriculture, corn, family, farm, flame weeding, Fun Fact Friday and tagged as , , , , ,

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