Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sex? A Year Later and Still Waiting

One year ago on July 9 2010, I published a post entitled "Sex all around us".  It can be found in the July 2010 archives and I have reproduced it here.

"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."

Today on Saturday July 9, 2011 the prognostication is not quite as rosy.  There is some beautiful corn in the area.

This corn will silk the last week in July, which by the way, is right on a normal development pace.  Corn flowering by early August still has excellent yield potential.

Then there is also some not so beautiful corn.

Not much to say.  This field is in huge trouble.  The variability across all fields this year will be the killer.  
If 2010 was "awesome" on July 9, I guess 2011 will be "less than awesome".   

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