Friday, July 9, 2010

Sex All Around Us

The corn crop is ready to reproduce. This is a shot taken on Wednesday, July 7 from Fred Olbach's 38N85 planted on April 14.  Today, Friday July 9, we can find silks beginning to emerge on fields of 38N88 and 38M58 planted the week of April 19.  It is normal to see silks emerge before tassels because breeders select hybrids that initiate silks first.  It is a factor that contributes to yield stability.


The rains that fell over the area last night could not have come at a better time.  The peak demand for water and nutrients occurs at pollination.  Corn silks grow at the rate of 3/4" per day under ideal conditions like we have now.  The above two pictures were taken of the same plant 2 days apart.  You can see how quickly silks grow.  What this means is a large portion of our corn crop will be in full pollination mode next week.  Pollination under good conditions lasts about 5-7 days, so over the next 14 days most corn fields will be pollinated in this area.  It is a full 3-4 weeks ahead of last year's pace.
What it also means is the early corn silage will be ready to chop on or about September 7, because it takes approximately 45 days to reach half milk line after pollination is complete.  It takes about 60 days to reach physiological maturity, grain moisture 35-40%, after pollination is complete.  A little  more timely rain will set up some awesome grain yields.

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