Friday, October 14, 2011

The Corn Since the Frost

 In mid-September we had a frost in GriggsDakota. It was spotty. The frost varied greatly from field to field. It definitely froze in the corn fields, but it was difficult to tell how much damage was done.
 Since that time, I have visited the corn fields and taken some photos. I have read that the frost may make dry down more difficult, I have been told that it may make dry down easier. It could mean the corn kernels will be lighter. It will, of course vary with variety and maturity at the time of the frost.
So I have fretted a bit as I watched it dry and wondered how our corn crop would do. 
It has been four weeks since the frost and Grandpa Sonny has been picking a few cobs randomly each week since the frost, strapping the cobs together with duct tape, and labeling them by week. Week one is on the right, then on the week two, three, and four. 
 Here are close ups:  Week One - Notice that the kernels have dried since the cobs were picked leaving a bit of wiggle room on the cob. There are deep dents in the small kernels that formed as the moisture dried out. 
Week Two - We are all born optimists or we couldn't be farmers, but I think those kernels are bigger.
Week Three - The cobs and kernels are bigger and there is less wiggle room on the dried cob.
Week Four - The maturation appears not to have been stopped by the frost. Our corn is a 79 day variety, so longer season varieties will have different results from the frost. Corn that was less mature when it froze will sustain more damage.
We are getting out to try the corn harvest and will soon have actual corn harvest results from GriggsDakota.

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