Agriculture

A Lotta More Days of Corn

Friends, I’m slacking over here. I’m blaming it on farrowing season, and show season, and boating season, and just a plain old busy life! Yesterday marked day 108, and in the past 40 days I’ve only been out to take pictures of the corn three times! So we’re going to back track a little and share a few old pictures before moving on to the more recent snaps. (PS- if you haven’t read 31 Days of Corn and 35 More Days of Corn, go back and do that now, then carry on!)

Most of the changes over the last 40 or so days have happened with the ears rather than the stalks. So let’s go back to the first ear I pulled out of the field.

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Day 64: I’ve never taken the time to watch corn grow, so I was so excited to catch one of the very first tiny ears. Each silk (those little hair-like strands at the top of an ear of corn) attaches to a single kernel. Can you believe that in just a few months time, one little seed planted in the ground has been able to produce an ear with nearly 600 kernels? Counting the kernels on one ear and multiplying it by the number of plants per acre can give us an early idea of the potential yield in the field.

Day 67: The ears are now about the length of my hand, and as wide as a quarter. I carefully pulled away the husks, and was able to keep most of the silks in tact. Look at how each silk leads down to a kernel. When the tassel at the top of the corn plant sheds pollen, it lands on the silks to create kernels!

Day 75: Look at those gorgeous kernels! They sure make you crave some sweet corn, huh? But don’t forget, this is field corn, and while those pale yellow kernels look juicy and delicious now, field corn will dry down and become very starchy. No worries though! We still find field corn in many of the foods we eat. Take a look at the back of some food labels. Is corn starch or corn syrup listed as an ingredient? If so, it came from a field of corn just like ours!

Day 88: The kernels are turning a beautiful golden color, and have filled out quite a bit. Did you know each ear of corn has an even number of rows? Check out the cross section and count the rows around the ear- 18 rows! (If you don’t believe me, count the rows in the cross sections above. Always even!)

Day 108: The corn is starting to dry down, and we can really see why we call it dent corn. As the kernels dry, they sink in and get a little dent on them. Since corn is an annual plant (meaning it only grows for one season), the stalks are also starting to dry up and turn brown. Harvest will be here before we know it!

Any guesses as to what day we will harvest? It’s been a very hot, dry summer, so harvest may happen a little earlier than usual this year. As harvest nears, William will start to check the moisture of the corn which will help him decide when it’s time to break out the combine. Leave your harvest date guesses in the comments below, and stay tuned to find out the actual date!

And if you made it this far, you deserve a little treat. So here is my corn dog. (I haven’t stopped laughing at that joke for two days now.) Enjoy!

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