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Author Topic: The Feed Crop, Grain, Forage and Soil Health Thread  (Read 4537 times)

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Online mike_belben

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The Feed Crop, Grain, Forage and Soil Health Thread
« on: September 06, 2021, 04:24:28 PM »
I dont wanna keep derailing garden threads with stuff not related to gardens.







for you cow corn gurus, how many ears should i get on a stalk?  i planted a bit too dense thinking my sprouted seeds would have some loss but not one of them actually died.  the most robust stalks hit around 9ft tall with 2 ears, and the runts are trapped underneath at 1/3rd the size.  since im feeding the corn to chickens i am removing the stalks as i harvest 2 mature ears, in hopes that the runts can respond and finish off.  but im seeing small 3rd ears on those big stalks.  

you think they will they come to fruition or fizzle out?  i have to weigh the nutrient and light cost of a monster stalk crowding a little one that has 2 mid sized ears, where keeping the big stalk may only provide a stir fry baby corn and also prevent the shaded ears from filling out.  

at my present scale it doesnt matter at all, but i prefer to learn sooner rather than later.

this was august 2nd







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Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2021, 09:49:54 PM »
I drove a silage truck for the neighbors the other day, and the corn stalks looked like they were about every 4" in the row, and each had one big ear of corn, the 2nd ear did not develop other than a small shuck. We have had pretty good rains this summer, the one Sept 2 was just in time, we received 2 3/4".  It was just in time for the beans.
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Online mike_belben

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2021, 09:55:31 PM »
Is that the new magic number, crowd them in and get 1 ear per stalk?  Or was it a failure to get the 2nd ear and a big yield loss per acre? 



Im really unsure of what happens when you pull a ripe ear off and leave the other to grow.  Whether it gains in size or ends up stunted or over ripening etc.  First time corn made it to maturity for me. 
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Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2021, 09:59:24 PM »
They had to get some bales and make the pile longer.  Think it was a huge success.
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Offline btulloh

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2021, 10:06:27 PM »
One big ear, one second ear thats pretty good if spacing is adequate. Anything beyond that is a freak show.

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2021, 10:48:42 PM »
I cant believe it took me this many months to stumble onto virginia techs weed id database.  Theres a lot of nutrition in "weeds"

https://weedid.cals.vt.edu/
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2021, 07:55:25 AM »
Mike, I'm surprised you did that good with the corn [being from Mass and all].  2 ears and a nubbin is the best I ever do but more like 1 big ear and a nubbin most times. That high nitrogen fertilizer is too much $. If you plant the same ground [with corn] next year you would do worse.

Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2021, 09:46:03 AM »
I have found that composted cow manure is just the best fertilizer.  There is a lot of bedding mixed with it, and bale bottoms, that is the stuff left in the feeder when the cows have gone through it, that is piled in the spring and allowed to heat, which kills the seed.  Have been spreading it the last couple weeks, even on hot days steam comes out of the pile when I disturb it with the loader.  The hay that comes out of the pile is gray colored like it has been on fire.  I just load it on my manure spreader and spread it on poor grass.  Native grass, (CRP) seems to benefit more than brome grass, but all does better.  Just a thin layer really helps the health of the grass.  Had a field that was so poor that it only had a little tuft of grass here and there, with a lot of bare dirt between the tufts, and since putting on some manure it has thickened the grass significantly. Would put it on farm ground if there was enough to go around, but going to get the grass healthy first.  Does take a couple years before the compost fully breaks down and becomes dirt, which helps more.
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Online mike_belben

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2021, 12:46:24 PM »
Mike, I'm surprised you did that good with the corn [being from Mass and all].
yeah i know'd it.    ;)

i think it was 3 or 4 sweet corn fails before i got good enough at soil building. but it still took a boatload of fertilizer.. corn is a spendy crop to produce. if it keeps taking more fertilizer to produce the same yield your soil microorganisms are dying off. jumpstart them back with an abundance of organic matter, moisture and time.

here is a current pic with the largest ears removed and the suffocated ones now getting front row, seem to be responding pretty fast.  



you can see that tilled up strip in the background.  it was a little too hard when i planted this but i let it grow knee high grass, right up into the tomatoes, cukes and squash that i had twined up to fenceposts or an A-frame stick arbor.  the weeds didnt stop any of that from growing but the grass root system dug down into the hard clay and gave it broke it up.  i flipped that big green afro with a shovel and let it suffocate then rototilled to break the sod up. let the weeds provide organic matter.




will be seeding it with some cool season stuff today.  some corn is gonna stay as a sunscreen until the new stuff is hardy enough and hot season has waned a bit.  then ill chop the rest of the corn out. (i planted early radish, white beets, forage rape, kale, purple top turnip and cabagge.  need more space to open up before i can put in the bush beans, onion and rutabega.)


the stalks that were completely enclosed in the center of the patch with no access to direct sun have only put on one large ear and much less leaf, as well as less height while having no more than 8" in any direction, very dense. some of them are 4" apart.  those stalks are really spindly, half the diameter of the big ones, and half the height.  but on the other hand- the ears arent really much smaller. so that jammed together segment probably extracted a lot less soil resources per cob.   maybe thats how the high density wins.. less fertilizer input? less nutrient extraction to grow the same tonnage of grain?    at a glance, i am thinking more space would be much more productive in tonnage of green stover if you were grinding it all for feed. maybe im wrong.. just thinking out loud.




@farfromkansas-  the hot, white smokey thing is a function of hot composting.  some living microbe produces it.  they are breaking down the carbon (straw, hay, wood chip, leaves etc.  "browns") and consuming the nitrogen (manures, grass etc "Greens") as an energy source i guess. having it cooking hot and a little sweet smelling (ammonia) means youve got plenty of nitrogen, maybe excess so it happens fast.  if youre really cooking even in winter, add some browns.. take advantage of the huge microbial action present to reduce all the browns you can because they are whats really slow.  like rotting wood and bark.  the more you pee on it the faster it turns brown.  the nitrogen in that whiz is like hiring a small crew of workers for a huge project.  when youve got a huge manure hill, you have enough workers present to break down 2 more equal sized sawdust piles.  you can get dirt in about a month by mixing that ratio if it stays hot.  

its odd the things youll think are fun when you quit drinking.  
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Online Southside

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2021, 03:40:17 PM »
if it keeps taking more fertilizer to produce the same yield your soil microorganisms are dying off


Guess I would say that a little differently.  In many cases the fertilizer is the reason your soil biology is dying off to begin with.  Crops remove nutrients from the soil as they are harvested and one way or another those nutrients need to be replaced.  The scaled solution has been chemical fertilizer, but that comes with a cost.  For example, nitrogen in the form of urea or anhydrous ammonia is a desiccant, so all the worms, micro flora, etc in the region of application suffer and you end up with dead zones that ironically can only be "repaired" with additional fertilizer.  Self fulfilling circling of the drain.  
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Offline newoodguy78

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2021, 06:36:17 PM »
Thats an excellent description of what I feel has taken place on this ground Im working here. Ive been trying cover crops and applying compost horse manure thats been piled up for years. Its amazing to see the ground and plants respond so well. 

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2021, 10:49:15 AM »
visit to a friend yesterday, "army worm" has eaten up an entire paddock on him and apparently a lot of others.  he is maybe 15 miles from me.  i guess the whole region is out of pesticide and its spreading fast.  not good.





you can see how brown and dead all this goose grass is.  the permanent fence makes for permanent cow walking paths that are too compacted to grow and has luckily prevented them from crawling into the other fields. 
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Offline beenthere

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2021, 12:32:04 PM »
Mike
Spectracide Triazicide


is in stock on Amazon in gal concentrate. 

Sorry to read about the army worms. Gotta stay ahead of them.
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Online mike_belben

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2021, 01:06:11 PM »
thanks BT.  
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Offline newoodguy78

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2021, 02:33:12 PM »
Thats a bad deal for sure. How many acres are effected

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2021, 05:44:07 PM »
not too many at jackie's.. thats his sacrificial mudlot for rainy weather to keep the leased pasture from getting pugged up. this one drains pretty fast with all the slope.  the bulk of it is in that picture. 
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2021, 08:45:17 PM »
Mike when I weed the corn I leave the pulled weeds in the row to get tilled later. My wife doesn't like that and she picks up her weeds and throws them over the bank.  So the next time you stop by you can talk to her about this and easy on the hammer coming up from Port J. :)

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2021, 09:52:18 PM »
'fraid Its gonna be a while on that trip doug. I will be sure to stop and harrass you though.
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Online mike_belben

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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2021, 10:13:38 PM »
Woodchipper eats corn just fine. After 3 days of fermenting in water my birds are happy eating chopped cobs too so in it goes.









Corn is incredibly digestible compared to other feeds, and fermenting just increases that.  

Maize grain, yellow | Feedipedia

Gonna ferment the chopped stover too, incase i find some free pigs and have to overwinter. This stuff should be pretty rich given it just came off the stalk.  Chopping and fermenting will improve digestibility, very fibrous otherwise.

Maize stover | Feedipedia






Tomorrow i will chop up more yard greens and ugly maters.. Hopefully i can make enough free feed tomorrow to get the whole crop to slaughter weight.


I planted a lot of leafy green cool season proteins yesterday to make up for the warm season ones that will be trailing off soon.
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Re: The Feed Crop, Grain and Forage Thread
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2021, 10:53:58 PM »
Funny - the corn in your pool looks just like whats known as shredlage.  Guys pay big bucks for a forage harvester that will produce that material. 
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