Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Corn College

My friends have been pushing me to put on a corn college. That is an idea that Farm Journal does with Ken Ferrie from Illinois.

Basically it is a Field Day in a corn field. There is so much to know about raising corn and so much corn raised it draws a lot of farmers.

A good young friend in Iowa called me to see when he might take vacation to attend. I said wait a minute, it is not even on the books yet!

But he did get me thinking. As my test plot field has grown and changed color every day I got to thinking everything I did well and everything I did wrong. It is easy to see the effect of my practices on the 30 different corn hybrids.

I have some dead spots where we changed hybrids, one near the apple tree on the hill. Take a back hoe and make a root pit right there. Close to the house, shade, water, lots of parking. Lots to look at under the Russell Miami soils, too.

I did one in Northeast Ohio and one in Pennsylvania that turned out great. I know what to do and what is on farmers minds. They want the most corn for the least amount of money but they aren't afraid to spend it for the righ thing, either.

The best corn isn't usually raised by the shiniest tractor or the latest planter. Old tried and true modifications is what works best. The best corn I know of you wouldn't give the guy 10 cents for his equipment, looks like a pile of rust.

I know who I would get for the technical part. McGillacudy out of Illinois gives the best presentation on basic corn science I ever saw. Farm Journal ought to hire him but they won't, they already have a contract with Ken Ferrie. Ken is a nice guy but is really a tillage man from the black soils of Illinois. We are no-tillers on the brown, worn soils of Ohio.

If I dare have one I am going to have to get it on the calendar. I guarantee you though, I dig a soil pit and there will be pickup trucks stopping.

I will dig one for myself whether I have one or not.


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