Irish Blessing

Irish Blessing

Monday, May 1, 2017

Corn 2017: The Journey Begins

The corn seed in the middle of the photo was at the end of the row, where Randy turned. Most of the seeds end up underground, where they are supposed to be, but I still liked the photo.

God says, "Leave the miracle part to me. 
I've got the seed, the soil, the sunshine, the rain and the seasons.
I'm God, and all this miracles stuff is easy for me. 
I have reserved something very special for you 
and that is to plant the seed."
--Jim Rohn, Author & Motivational Speaker

Two weeks ago, Randy started planting corn. He finished the last field on Friday, right before we got 2.20 inches of rain over the weekend. 
On the day I took the photos, it was one of those times when the blue sky was dusted with cotton-candy wisps of clouds, which beautifully offset the brown earth.
I wasn't Randy's only audience. Our cows in a catty-corner pasture came to watch the proceedings. I'm always amused by cow's curiosity. Thankfully, they didn't get any closer to the action.
Last Friday, we were in the corn field again. At the field where he had first planted, the green corn sprouts lined up like soldiers down rows of brown earth.
It looks like a good stand.
This year, we planted 310 acres of corn, a little more than last year. I'm sure that seems like small potatoes - or small sprouts - to anybody who has circles of corn. Since we are an all dryland farm, wheat remains our primary crop.
Randy says these photos make the corn look bigger than it is. Yes, it does, but I liked it anyway.
However, corn was a primary crop in this area when it was settled. The 6th Biennial Report of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture of 1888 reported that corn was the main crop for Stafford County, covering 48,030 acres. Oats were grown on 10,849 acres, while the winter wheat crop totaled 8,717 acres. Pasture ground was tallied at 13,446 acres. (Information taken from Stafford County History: 1870-1990.)
To give the corn a boost right from the start, Randy applies a nitrogen fertilizer to promote germination and early growth.
He also had the co-op spray a combination of herbicide and fertilizer. The herbicide will help control broadleaf weeds and some grasses, and the fertilizer was applied at the rate indicated by soil testing, so it varied from location to location.
Our planter was set at 18,800 corn seeds per acre. Each $200 bag has 80,000 seeds and plants 4.3 acres. By comparison, one bag of certified wheat seed costs $15 and plants about half an acre. A bag of milo seed costs $119 and plants 14 acres.
At another field, Randy did a little digging to uncover the seeds. They had sprouted, but they hadn't yet emerged through the soil. 

And now we'll leave the miracle part to God


  1. Just love these photos. That rain must have brought a big smile to the face of Farmer Randy.