Agriculture

35 More Days of Corn

A little over a month ago, I shared “31 Days of Corn,” a collection of photos taken during the first 31 days after planting corn in the field behind our house. Since then, the corn has grown from 2 feet tall, to nearly 10 feet tall! For this second series of photos, I even had to call in a tall, dark, and handsome model to help demonstrate how tall it really is. For a few weeks it felt like nothing was happening, but now we have tassels and ears on each plant. Check out the photos below for the second installment of our corn’s journey from seed to feed! (Ugh! Kicking myself for not using that as a title in the first place! Come on, creative brain, get it together!)

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Day 36: “Waist high by the 7th of June” isn’t quite the saying I grew up hearing, but here we are! The corn is at the V4 stage of growth. I had to call on William to start serving as a height reference for us, since I can no longer get pictures of each individual plant. (He’s about 6’2″ by the way.) The corn sure was thirsty, and definitely needed the rain we got over the next few days.
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Day 44: After a decent rain, the corn sure shot up. Here we see it at the V6 stage of growth. Fun fact: William told me the corn is determining its ear size around this stage. Pretty neat!
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Day 50: We had to brave some rain for this photo! In just two weeks the corn grew from waist high, to chest high, to beard high on William. The plants were nearly 6 feet tall, and still no where near done growing! At this point most of the plants had reached the V7 stage of growth.
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Day 56: Where’s William?
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Oh, there he is! The corn reached the V11 stage, and towered over William. (We won’t even talk about how little I felt standing there!) Just when it seemed like nothing exciting had been happening…
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On day 62 we finally saw some tassels! The tassels contain pollen that falls onto the silks of the ears to create each kernel.
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See those hair-like strands at the top of this little ear? Those are the silks. Each silk leads down to what will eventually be a kernel.
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Day 64: My little baby corn kernels are all grown up and creating corn kernels of their own! Can you believe there are over 600 kernels on this one ear? I counted them all. Ok, just kidding. But by multiplying the number of rows by the number of kernels in each row, I was able to figure out how many kernels there were. Farmers can use this trick to help them estimate the total yield. Math has never been my favorite subject, but it’s a very important skill for farmers to have.
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Day 67: The ears of corn are now about as long as my hand…
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…and as wide as a quarter.
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And remember how I said each silk leads down to a kernel? Here you can see where each silk attaches. It kind of looks like some weird sea creature, but in a few weeks the silks will dry up and we will have big, golden kernels.

We are about halfway through the corn’s journey from seed to harvest, but there are still many more changes yet to come. As pig farmers, we will use a majority of this corn to feed our animals, but there are so many uses for field corn. Do you know what products contain corn? Leave your guesses in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “35 More Days of Corn”

  1. This is fascinating to see and learn about! We recently moved to a more rural area and there are several fields of corn nearby, and it’s been fun to see how quickly it grows each time we drive past. And now thanks to you I know what’s going on as they grow – love it! Thank you for educating me! 🙂

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