Friday, May 21, 2010

Corn Has Recovered From the Icy Grip of Death

So today was a return to rainy weather. It didn't rain much, but it drizzled nearly the whole day and then rained pretty hard in the late afternoon. So it kept us out of the field, AGAIN. We did plant some soybean plot borders and fill in area, but didn't want to start an experiment, and then get rained out part way through. I thought I would re-visit this frozen corn story. Recall that we had a hard freeze last week, on early Monday morning (May 10). It killed the emerged corn leaves on much of the farm. But recovery has occurred, thanks to a few warm and sunny days. The top picture was taken last Thursday, three days after the frost. There is not much corn to see, only dead leaves. The next picture was taken today, close to the same spot. There is good recovery and growth of new leaf tissue. It has turned green too since there have been a few warm and sunny days this week. The bottom picture shows some "buggy whip" condition of some of the corn. This is from the leaf tip tissue being necrotic and preventing normal unrolling. But it should be ok since the dead leaf tissue will fall away. Unfortunately, this was our first planted corn, and it has been in the ground a month and a day. This is pretty small corn for being planted that long ago, but such has been the results of cold and no sun in recent weeks. Normally we would be sidedressing 30 days after planting, but we will hold off a little longer and let the corn size up a little. We still have two soybean experiments to plant, and then we will be done. We are also planting some milo and sunflowers, but those crops don't like cold and we will plant those a little later.

As far as plot numbers, you may be interested to know that Dr. Levene will have 23 specialty crop (fruits and vegetables) fertility experiments with 760 individual plots. Our field crop testing will have 40 experiments and 1629 plots. Now there are more field crop plots, but most of the specialty crop plots have multiple harvests. And most are hand picked. So there are no slackers in this operation!