The past week consisted of hauling grain from the bins and scouting corn fields to be sprayed with fungicides. The weather seemed to dictate which jobs we accomplished based on the temperatures. We also spent time in the shop tearing down the corn head replacing parts so we can be ready to go this fall.
The upcoming week's forecast is for hot and extremely humid temperatures with little to no chances of rain. While we have been more fortunate than others with a few recent rain showers, we are concerned about how this weather will affect our final yields; more so the corn. The hot temperatures both during the day and at night (plus 70 degrees at night is not helpful) make the corn focus on maintenance of the corn plant (surviving) versus focusing on producing energy or sugars which create bigger/heavier kernels and larger yields. One of the main reasons we are spraying fungicide right now is to help the plant respire at night or give it "air-conditioning." A lot of the thought process behind spraying fungicide is to help slow the plant down so it doesn't have to work so hard during the high temperatures. Think of it as if you were running a marathon and someone threw you a cold and wet towel to put on the back of your neck. We normally like to spray fungicide when we see one-third brown silks. However, due to the coming weather we are pushing our fungicide applications up to once again try to give our corn plants air-conditioning.
Also, another important item worth mentioning is that the first-wave of sweet corn was ready this week. Sweet corn, similar to fireworks during 4th of July celebrations are another right of passage for those of us who farm or were raised on a farm. Eventually, we will all gather as a family to harvest hundreds of ears of sweetcorn and cook it and bag it so that we may enjoy it all year round.
Stay cool this week.