The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on April 19, 1960 · Page 29
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The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 29

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 19, 1960
Page 29
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Production of corn is probably the biggest job tackled by farmers each year. More acres of corn are grown than any other single crop and big improvements have taken place. This past year, 1959, about 84.5 million acres produced almost 4.4 billion bushels of corn—201 more than the same acreage in 1948 produced with similar weather. Much more change in corn production will occur during the 1980's. New types of corn will be planted in different types of seed beds. More chemical weed and insect control will be used. Labor required per acre will be cut still further by the use of six- and eight-row planting and cultivating equipment and four-row harvesting machines. New harvesting and storing methods will be used on a much larger portion of the crop. These new techniques will permit fanners to cut the time needed to get corn planted from the present four-hours per acre all the way down to one hour or even less. Seed companies and colleges are working to develop shorter stalked hybrids. Yields are lower than for more conventional corns but they're making progress. For example, in 1959, average dwarf yields in Illinois tests were 74.6 bushels at several locations throughout the state. Normal hybrids at the same locations yielded 96.2 bushels per acre. Other developments in corn breeding also bear watching. Several companies are continually observing and selecting individual plants and strains that exhibit some resistance to various disease and insect problems such as com borer, stalk rot, etc. The idea is to develop hybrids that will be more resistant to these pests. They are also working on multiple eared com and special hybrids that yield about 30* more ofl and 10X more protein than present commercial hybrids. This could mean more highly productive corn and improved feeding value in the near future. Planting rates and methods are also undergoing changes. Seed corn producers already have seed which is more tolerant to thick planting. However, problems still exist. If moisture is ideal and fields highly fertile, populations of* 20,000 or more stalks to the acre give maximum yields. Often, though, stalks are weak and a dry spell at the wrong time can cut yields sharply. These problems will be solved in coming years and well see average corn producers push their populations on up to die 20,000 plant level and more. Another way to increase corn population without the problem of barren stalks and poor standability is through planting methods. A recent experimental method called "equidistant" has been devised. Whether it will be practical in the long run remains to be seen. Row widths are narrowed to 21 or 28 inches to' give as much space between plant rows as between stalks in the row. A self-propelled wheel track planter may be the final answer to wheel-track planting. University of Wisconsin agricultural engineers have come up with this solution to complex planting operations. Since the operator is right on the planter he's in an excellent position to watch special equipment such as fertilizer attachments, insecticide applicators and band spraying equipment. The engineers also hope the carrier can be used for mounting spraying or swathing attachments. New fertilizers will become increasingly important in new corn growing methods. Complete liquid fertilizers have been used for about five year* and in many cases cut labor and heavy .work of applying the plant nutrients needed for today's high corn yields. Up to now, the liquid fertilizers have been low analyses, since they would begin to "salt" out in cool weather but within a few years much higher analyses will be available and many of the ingredients will be of lower cost. fr* i n Corn combining hat been Increasing rapidly, especially where the grain it stored in silos. One of the problems when com blnlog it me relatively tmall-tlie grain tank on combines. Here this operator it using an auger wagon to expedite corn harvett "ana keep the combine moving at much of the time a» possible. Old method of moving ear corn from, me field to storage will give way at man* of the crop it harvested shelled rather man by the t - - ~ < ' Here't on example of me telecHon and breeding work by hybrid corn companlet. In thit case, they havo t«k, tistonce to stalk rot whkh Is an inherited characteristic, well me rotlttant strain, on thit man's right, is standing , tp me v»ry heavy lodging of me non-resistant strain on Development work tuch at thit can be a big help to you In improved yield* and more profit. ' ' '' , A ^ rfa, , j ip » J M> "^ » «• 4 ^ V

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