Today’s topic is corn. What we’re planting, why we’re planting it, and so on and so forth.
Let’s begin with grain corn…
Unlike last year when we decided to go with four different varieties (if you want a refresher, feel free to check that post out here), this year we’re only planting two. Both of these varieties have proven to be excellent, not just with Silver Reef but with plenty of others as well. They both have high bushel per acre potential along with a 90 day maturity window. These varieties also tend to average anywhere between 170 and 190 bushels to the acre. Needless to say, we were sold on them.
- Prairie Hybrid 661 – 89 day window to maturity
- Rob-See-Co RC3601 Artesian – 86 day window to maturity
In case you were curious, most grain corn that is planted in the Midwest falls between a 98 to 115 day maturity window. However, out here in the west, where we plant later and do not have as many heat days, we want a smaller window.
Now onto silage…
If you recall, last year we planted two different varieties of corn silage. Given their production records, this year we decided to only plant one: Prairie Hybrid 5200. This plant becomes tall and leafy while producing big ears. Last year, we planted this in one of our fields and it produced 32 tons of silage. This year, we believe it has the potential to grow at least 35 tons per acre.
More information on the variety:
- Prairie Hybrid 5200 – 108 day window to maturity
Note: This large window may seem like a stretch for our area, but it’s worth it if, in the end, we can produce 35 tons of silage.
Another factor in getting our corn silage and grain corn to maturity is a term called Growing Day Units, or GDUs. GDUs is a measurement of heat accumulation that is used to predict plant development as the crop reaches maturity. In our area, the accumulation of GDU’s is at a slower pace due to our cooler climate and shorter growing season. Selecting varieties with shorter maturity windows and lower GDU accumulation factors are important to a successful growing season.
When it comes to actually planting the corn (both grain and silage) we planted at 36,500 seeds per acre. Now, this was only the first step because emergence is what’s critical when planting corn. Thankfully, our average on each field ended up between 33,500 and 36,000 seeds per acre. This means we’re very happy campers over here. We have a corn plant to work with now.
Thanks for reading!