Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Corn in the backyard 2011, week 7

July 3

Height = 64 inches
Last week's growing degree days = 177
Historical average growing degree days = 167

Growing degree days since planting = 1069
Historical average since planting = 978

Although this year's crop has fallen behind the blistering pace set in the torrid early summer of 2009, growth still continues at a respectable rate.  By contrast, last year's crop was almost done growing by early July, but it also had a three-week head start.

Since I try to measure the same plant every week, the plant I've chosen may not represent the tallest stalk in the field, nor is there any guarantee it will be average.  This week I measured neighboring plants more than 10 inches taller than the one I reported, while others lagged our subject.  I will continue to measure the same plant we've followed to this point, but I may mention anomalies as they appear.  Thanks for visiting!


  1. Is your farmer friend growing the same type of corn this year as in 2009? I ask because this could affect growth rate, I'd assume.

  2. Jeremy -- I don't know how the 2011 variety compares to that planted in 2009, but I agree that that is an important variable is determining growth rate.

  3. By now I think it's about time that you develop a computer software enabling farmers everywhere to keep and calculate detailed data on their corn crops.

  4. I'm guessing that commercial farmers have such software. If not, you should enlist Mr. Auer's help, Kurt. Have you ever seen his massive model train set?

    Mr. Auer builds a lot of the electronic components for his trains and track. He controls and monitors the trains via a couple of software programs, one of which he designed. I vaguely recall him telling me that he once had 24 trains going at the same time. It's quite an amazing set up.

  5. Kathryn, I doubt many farmers would go to the trouble I do, so the software would probably need some measuring hardware so the farmer could do the measuring remotely. Hmmm... maybe there's a business opportunity in there somewhere...

    Jeremy, I don't think the farmers are concerned with height, but are very interested in kernel development and ear growth so they can maximize their kernel yield per acre.

    I've never seen Mr Auer's train set, but if I pursue Kathryn's idea of a software/hardware product, he would be one of my major consultants.

  6. Farmer WagenbachJuly 11, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    Farmer Friend says this hybrid is a shorter season one which typically are shorter in height

  7. Farmer Wagenbach, can you divulge the seed brand and hybrid planted in this field?

  8. Farmer WagenbachJuly 12, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    It is Dekalb 59-35 which is a 109 day maturing hybrid,1292 GDU's to mid pollination and 2755 GDU's to black layer which is when the corn is physologically mature

  9. Thanks for the information Farmer Wagenbach! The next corn update should give us a good idea of how your crop compares to Dekalb's numbers.

  10. Well, Mr. R, if, as you say, you don't think farmers are concerned with height, then all you have to do is CREATE the concern through clever marketing (after the software development, of course), and then you have a WIDE OPEN niche and will make a fortune.

    Which will also be helpful in buying those mansions for the girls when they marry, should the son-in-laws fail the wealth department.