Rain Problems For Corn Producers

By: Joe Brown Email
By: Joe Brown Email

“Each one of those silks goes to an actual kernel of corn, once it’s pollinated, and the pollen’s up here on the tassel and it has to float down. We usually like a little breeze, maybe like today, maybe a little stronger, that’ll dislodge it when it bursts out of the tassel to fall onto the silk and pollinate the corn.

Lee Denena says too much rain in May and June while some of his corn was trying to pollinate washed the pollen down the silk and off some of the ears.

“Each one of these positions that could have been a kernel, is basically just nothing. It’s just a blank spot on the ear.”

Johnnie Osborne manages Higgin Bottom Farms in south Brazos County and believes he might have his best corn crop ever. He didn’t get heavy rains during pollination.

“Corn needs a half inch to an inch of water per week to really make it pollinate good. It was cool, raining, and the pollinate came down and fell and stuck on them better, like last year we had some pollination problems cause it got real hot.”

But the continued rain and cool temperatures have put Osborne behind. He harvested his corn last year on July 10th.

“The stalks are still green, right now everything should be completely dried, and the ears are trying to dry down, but it’s not enough sun, and we can get into problems getting disease or sprouting ears, or sprouting in the corn.”

Corn is a little more forgiving than some other crops.

“It’ll sit there versus losing it like any other kind of crop, it’ll sit longer and stay on the stalk, but if it stays here raining and wet for another month, I mean it’s just going to be hard to get out.”

Obviously these two guys appreciate a challenge.

“They’ve often said, this is a heck of a life, but not much of a living. You’ve got to enjoy it.”

Both said all things considered, it was pretty hard for them to wish rain away after the drought we experienced the last two years. I’m Joe Brown, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From the Ground Up.

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