Sunday, November 9, 2014

Wiarton Willie's Job Is In Jeopardy

The feminine members of our family continue to explore new foods and culinary experiences. Terrilyn's fiance's family from Toronto has fallen into a habit of sending us a variety of delights that fall into two broad categories, food that we cannot source in St Marys and food that we have never heard of and sometimes don't know what to do with.
Last weekend some persimmons showed up on the kitchen counter via a Toronto food market.
Persimmons are far from being exotic, but having no experience with persimmons, Google was enlisted. Persimmons are good to eat just like you would a peach.  I did eat one and to be honest when compared to Ontario grown apples and pears I would not cross the street for a persimmon. With great respect to persimmon growers I am sure the only way to enjoy them fully is fresh off the tree. More interesting to me was the weather prognosticating ability of the persimmon tree.  However, the message gave me chills.

University of Missouri

Washington Post

Farmer's Almanac

All persimmon signs are pointing toward a snow laden winter.  Just what we all wanted to hear.  If the persimmon seeds are accurate, any thoughts of leaving corn out over the winter may not be a wise.  

The biggest question of the week has been will this corn dry down if we leave it?  And by how much?
The answer to the first question is easy, yes it will.  Despite what some would think, corn does dry in November.  I have seen corn in November drop 5- 10 points.  The problem is we can't predict by how much nor how fast.  Heat becomes a non factor in November leaving humidity or the lack thereof, as the key to drydown.  If it rains every day, drydown will be agonizingly slow and as I write this it is drizzling outside my office window.  The weather forecast has too many days of forecast rain and light snow in it to make me feel good about drydown. But I would argue that this crop will behave more normal than one would think even if it is low in test weight and high in moisture.
For one thing, it thrashes easily.  You don't have to smash it to get it off the cob like you sometimes do with immature corn.  The samples coming off the combine, if a little time is taken to make adjustments, are very clean.  This tells me the kernel integrity is good and the abscission layer (whether it is brown or black doesn't matter) between the kernel and cob is well defined.  If humidity drifts down the corn will naturally dry.  It is NOT like 1992 when corn moisture went up before it came back down.
Should you leave it out is a different question with not a simple answer.  If it is still above 35% I would tend to leave it for a bit, especially if it is still standing well.  If it is already under 30% and a big chunk of corn is heading that way, I would get at it.  Stalk quality while still okay in this area will not hang on for ever.  As we have stated in previous posts, there is big yield out there.  It would be a shame to lose it to a snow laden winter, just to save a bit of money on drying.
When we add the persimmon forecast to the fact we farm in Ontario's snow belt the threat of snow is real.
On the other hand I am not betting on the accuracy of the persimmon.  Now if we could only give Wiarton Willie a steady diet of persimmons, we probably could improve that accuracy big time.

No comments:

Post a Comment