What Makes a Great Corn Crop

Sometimes a farmer can do everything right, but it doesn’t matter because Mother Nature intervenes and bad things happen. Then there are times when Mother Nature provides exactly what a particular crop needs. When that takes place, good things happen. John Malazzo farms in the Brazos River Bottom.

“Well, as far as a corn year, this has really been an unusual one for us here in Central Texas. Usually we’ll have some dry weather in the spring or some heat in the spring that’s usually detrimental to growing corn.”

Malazzo says this year a cool, wet spring produced an almost stress free environment for growing corn.
“We had enough drying time, as I said to get our fertilizers put out and our herbicides put out and then we’ve been getting rain ever since and this corn crop has had about twenty-one and a half inches on it since planting time.”

Malazzo described the growth process.
“It comes up. It grows, and then it starts the reproductive stage and tassels and silks, the ears start to silk and it pollinates, and then it fills out the kernels. Well, once it gets to this dent stage, now you’re going back down as far as moisture requirements, fertilizer requirements.”
Malazzo says that an average yield would be 16 rows of kernels per ear.

“An exceptional year like this, eighteen rows is an indicator that you’ve had great weather. You will find a few ears that have twenty rows. Today I would say as looks go, it passes the look test. It looks like maybe the best crop I’ve ever had. We still have some time to go so there’s a lot that Mother Nature can throw at you, but as far as a corn year, so far it’s been excellent.”

This corn will be ready for harvest around mid-August.