Saturday, July 30, 2016

Corn in the backyard, 2016 -- weeks 11, 12, & 13

July 10

Week 11 brought slightly cooler temperatures (about 10 percent below the historical average), adequate rainfall, and no unusual incidents. As a consequence, the ears continued to develop nicely and the plants were well into the process of pollination. The overall height of the plants climbed a few more inches to 112.

July 17

Since the silks were considerably more brown than the week before, we know the pollination period was finished and that kernels were developing on the ears by July 17. Temperatures were near normal (about 3 percent above the historical average), and rainfall was pleasantly consistent. I'd noticed about this time that it had been several weeks since we had received an extended rain shower, as all of our rain had come in thunderstorms. Nonetheless, it's been sufficient to keep all our plants and aquifers well supplied. The corn height plateaued at 112 inches as the plants concentrate their energy on ear development.

July 24

I don't think it's evident in any of these photos, but I noticed Japanese beetles congregated on several ears where the silk enters the husk. Fortunately, they appeared to be attracted after the silks turned brown, but their presence surprised me since I'd never noticed them attracted to ears of corn before. The week preceding July 24 experienced more growing degree days than average on each of the seven days. In total there were 17% more growing degree days than the historical average, and thunderstorms continued to provide adequate rainfall. We should begin to see stalk drying near the ground soon since we're well over halfway to harvest.

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