Monday, June 30, 2014

Corn in the backyard, 2014 -- weeks 7 & 8

 June 22

Although the rain hasn't been plentiful, it's been enough to support the stalk growth through the last two weeks of continued warm weather.  The seventh week contained 34% more growing degree days than normal and saw most of the plants add about 19 inches to top out at 58 inches on June 22.

 June 29

The eighth week was not as warm as the seventh, accumulating about 18% more growing degree days than average, but the corn hit its stride and gained 32 inches to hit 90 inches tall by the end of the week.  In the picture above, it's no longer possible to see trees or buildings across the highway, although history indicates the corn stalks are probably not quite done growing.  One bit of evidence is the lack of tassels poking out of the top of the plant.  Once those appear, the stalk growth is nearly complete, and the plants get down to the business of producing a crop.  But that will come later.  Now I've got a couple of charts to illustrate how the crop this year is doing compared to the four other years for which I have data.

The first chart suggests that we may have another week or two of growth before the plants reach full height, and that the current height of the stalks is consistent with the median for the eighth week for the five years shown.  Some weeks have been a bit below average, but there's no reason to believe this crop is suffering.

This next chart makes the case that this crop is doing exceptionally well for this time of year.  We've never measured stalks this tall in the last week of June, and the 32 inches gained last week was also a record for this time of year.  We'll keep our eyes on these trends and track the 2014 crop to full height, but it looks like we could tie or beat the pace set by the early crop of 2010.

I wonder how this data would look if we compared growth to growing degree days?  I suspect a fairly strong correlation would appear, so I may just have to plot that data.  If it looks interesting, you can rest assured you'll see the results here.

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