Protecting Your Crop From Weeds

The lack of pre-emergence herbicide often encourages weeds to grow in corn fields. Weather constraints often cause the presence of weeds, and it is essential that you control weeds in order to protect the corn yields. In some places, including Louisiana, the farmers are experiencing enormous problems with weed control. Due to this, corn production has slipped, causing the farmers to face losses. Many of the fields are too weedy and no amount of herbicide can get a good yield. This has been a worry to corn growers and constant fear lurks in their minds. Weeds grow in a hurry and no amount of removal helps. It's easy for the to return even before a corn plant has the change to grow.

The critical period is used to describe the length of time that weeds are allowed to compete with the crop until the latter is damaged. To obtain maximum yield, all weeds must be removed before they reach the critical period. Timely weed management to protect the corn plants is a fundamental feature for all crop growers and is majorly undertaken to maximize the corn yield potential. Killing the weeds is an essential step to achieve the goal of weed management.

Hoe between planted rows if you want to control any weeds that crop up unexpectedly. Be careful about digging the hoe too deep – this will damage the corn's stalks and roots. You can also spread mulch around the base to control the weeds and help to conserve the moisture. The concern for timely weed management in order to protect your corn yield becomes crucial in the post emergence herbicide corn systems. Most research universities recommend the use of herbicides in the earlier pre plant and pre-emergence period as an excellent option to reduce weed management risks. One important result of soil applied herbicides is that they promote good plant posture by reducing the pressure applied by the weeds.

One of the important concerns of agriculture researchers is the protection of corn from toxic fungi. If a bacterium is found then it’ll be a boon for farmers to protect their corn against weeds and other pests. Corn growers can sigh of relief now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently approved Balance Flexx herbicide from Bayer CropScience. These chemicals help farmers control over 50 varieties of weeds. This protects corn from weeds. It takes down some of the field’s toughest weeds, including kochia and woolly cup grass, while still providing excellent crop safety. It also works through the roots and shoots of weeds to provide exceptional burn down and enduring control.

A 100% weed control is the ultimate goal of a soil applied herbicide treatment. The weeds that are generally targeted include giant foxtail, woolly cup grass, small seeded annual broadleaf weeds, and giant ragweed. Similar to the pests that attack and ruin the corn, the presence of weeds is very unpleasant. It's important to do all it takes to avoid the infestation of pests and weeds that will ruin your corn.

The History of Corn

Corn is a human invention, a plant that does not exist naturally in the wild. It can only survive if planted and protected by humans. Many scientists believe people living in central Mexico developed corn about 7000 years ago. It was started from a wild grass called teosinte. Teosinte looked very different from our corn today. The kernels were small and were not placed close together like kernels on modern corn. It became known as maize and Indians throughout North and South America depended upon this crop for most of their food.

From Mexico, maize spread north into the Southwestern United States and south down the coast to Peru. As Indian people migrated north to the eastern part of North America, they brought corn with them. By the time Europeans made contact with the natives, corn was a major part of most native people's diet.

The domestication of maize is of particular interest to researchers — archaeologists, geneticists, ethnobotanists, geographers, etc. The process is thought by some to have started 7,500 to 12,000 years ago (corrected for solar variations). Recent genetic evidence suggests that maize domestication occurred 9,000 years ago in central Mexico, perhaps in the highlands between Oaxaca and Jalisco. The crop wild relative teosinte most similar to modern maize grows in the area of the Balsas River. Archaeological remains of early maize ears, found at Guila Naquitz Cave in the Oaxaca Valley, date back roughly 6,250 years (corrected; 3450 BC, uncorrected); the oldest ears from caves near Tehuacan, Puebla, date ca. 2750 BC. Little change occurred in ear form until ca. 1100 BC when great changes appeared in ears from Mexican caves: maize diversity rapidly increased and archaeological teosinte was first deposited.

Perhaps as early as 1500 BC, maize began to spread widely and rapidly. As it was introduced to new cultures, new uses were developed and new varieties selected to better serve in those preparations. Maize was the staple food, or a major staple, of most the pre-Columbian North American, Mesoamerican, South American, and Caribbean cultures. The Mesoamerican civilization was strengthened upon the field crop of maize; through harvesting it, its religious and spiritual importance and how it impacted their diet. Maize formed the Mesoamerican people’s identity. During the 1st millennium AD, maize cultivation spread from Mexico into the U.S. Southwest and a millennium later into U.S. Northeast and southeastern Canada, transforming the landscape as Native Americans cleared large forest and grassland areas for the new crop.

It is unknown what precipitated its domestication, because the edible portion of the wild variety is too small and hard to obtain to be eaten directly, as each kernel is enclosed in a very hard bi-valve shell. However, George Beadle demonstrated that the kernels of teosinte are readily "popped" for human consumption, like modern popcorn. Some have argued that it would have taken too many generations of selective breeding in order to produce large compressed ears for efficient cultivation. However, studies of the hybrids readily made by intercrossing teosinte and modern maize suggest that this objection is not well founded.

Fertilizing Corn

Fertilizing corn is on the most essential and critical parts about growing corn. If you don't use the right type of fertilizer when you are growing corn, your corn won't grow right, it won't grow in as large of a quantity, and nor will it taste as good as it could of. When growing corn, you need to pick the right type of fertilizer. There are many corn fertilizers out there and the right fertilizer depends on a lot of factors, most important of which is soil type.

Fertilizing corn should be done on the basis of soil tests and yield goals. Corn requires approximately 1.25 lbs. of elemental nitrogen (N), 0.6 lbs. of phosphate (P2O5) and 1.4 lbs. of potash (K2O) to produce one bushel of grain corn. Every type of soil is different and has a different chemical make up that requires different fertilizers. You'll want to test the soil to find out its chemical make up and talk to your local seed and fertilizer store. They will have the right fertilizer to meet the needs of your soil. If you don't have the right one, you could very well kill the crop you are spending so much time trying to grow.

Additionally, there are many types of kits you can get that will measure the ph balance and chemical balance of your soil. Before going to the shop, test your soil with one of these soil tester kits to find out the right information about your soil so the shop owners can help you with your needs. When growing anything, iformation is important.

Nitrogen can be applied at anytime and soils with good nitrogen produces better crops. As mentioned before, the exact needs of your corn will depend on the type of corn you are growing. Nitrogen is very important to growing any type of crop. If you can't afford a special nitrogen right fertilizer, you can always try animal manure which contains a high level of nitrogen and other good chemicals that can help plants grow.

Starter fertilizer can be applied with the planter in a band to the side and below the seed. The recommended fertilizer rate should be safely applied 2 inches to the side and 2 inches below the seed. Under cool, wet conditions, starter fertilizer offers many advantages. These type of fertilizer will help enable your corn to germinate and mature properly. Remember not to over fertilize your corn. More is not better. If you add to much, you run the risk of overfeeding and then kill your corn seeds and plants. It's sort of like over feeding people- eventually they get too fat and die.

Corn is resilient but, like growing any crop, it needs the proper balance of soil nutrients in order to grow well. Ensure that you give your corn the right balance by getting the right kind of nutrients to it. Don't get any cheap products or any fertilizer. Growing corn like any other crop is a science and if you don't follow the science, you won't grow anything....period.

Growing Corn

Growing corn is a challenging job for anyone. especially for the small, hobby farmer. It's better to grow corn if you have a lot of space and a lot of fields to do it on. Without that, growing corn will be hard especially if you plan on selling the corn out on the market. Corn costs a lot of money to grow but luckily once the planting is done, there isn't much work to be done and you can just sit and watch your corn grow tall.

Corn can be grown anywhere, but the corn plant's maturity time depends on the amount of heat it receives. Corn need well worked, fertile soil with good drainage, and a full sun to grow well. Sow the corn seeds right into the ground right have the first crop. Plant the corn seeds 2 to 4 inches apart in short rows that form a block. This type of planting ensures corn sees pollination. Pollination of the corn crop is very important to growing the right cobs otherwise you won't be growing anything!

Although corn you can be grown closer together than this, the roots get too close together and the corn requires more water. Corn is a heavy user of nitrogen so get nitrogen rich fertilizer. Fertilize in the spring and also when the corn is 8 inches tall, then finally when the corn is 18 inches high. Hill soil around the ground to help support the corn stalks. This way when the stalks will stay up and not bend or saw around. Fertilizing the soil will ensure your plants get the right nutrients while they are growing and ensure you get healthy and tasty corn.

Watering is very important for growing corn. You must keep the soil evenly moist. Corn corn grows every fast during hot weather and the leaves wilt because the roots can't keep the leaves supplied with water so you must water often. Make sure you do not get water in the corn tassels though. The pollen has to fall from the tassel onto the corn silk to make kernels, and if pollination does not occur, all that will grow is the cob. Weed early and often! Keep the weeds back. Corn has shallow roots, and weeds will destroy the roots and ruin the corn crop.

Growing corn is not a hard process but it takes the right amount of skill. You need to know about weeds, fertilizer, and lighting. You can grow corn under a lot of conditions and if you choose to grow corn, you should follow the advice above as well as talk to locals at the local seed and fertilizer shop to get advice and tips about planting and growing corn. Remember- it doesn't take a lot of work to grow corn but if you don't plant the right type of corn, you will have wasted a plant. Make sure you do your research and follow these tips to raise the right corn.

Types of Corn

There are many types of corn that you grow. The type of corn you grow should depend on a lot of factors including soil, light, and climate. Each kind of corn grows best under different conditions and you want to make sure you choose a corn good for your kind of environment. Moreover, you want to pick a type of corn that will meet your needs- are you growing for grain, cattle, seed, or cobs for consumption? Here is a list of different types corn:


Dent Corn

Dent corn, getting its name from the dent in the crown of the seed, is grown more than any other type of corn. Millions of tons of grain are produced from dent corn, and is used for human and industrial use, and for livestock feed. The starch reaches the summit of the seed, and the sides are also starchy. The denting is caused by the drying and shrinking of the starch. The dent corn grown in the Corn Belt came from a mix of New England flints and gourseed (an old variety of corn grown by the Indians in southeaster North America).

Flint Corn
Flint corn kernels are hard and smooth and have little soft starch. Columbus and his followers reach some countries that grew a lot of flint corn. Thus, flint was probably the first corn Europeans ever laid eyes on. Flint corn is not grown in the United States as much as it is in Asia, Central America, Europe, and South America. In temperate zones, flint corn matures earlier, has better germination, and the plant vigor is earlier than in dent.

Popcorn
Popcorn is an extreme form of flint. It has a very small proportion of soft starch. It is a very minor crop, and is gown mostly for humans to eat. The reason is "pops" so well, is because of the horny endosperm, which is a tough, stretchy material that can resist the pressure of steam, which is generated in the hot kernel until it has enough force to explode or "pop."

Flour Corn
Flour corn contains a lot of soft starch, and has almost no dent. Though it is not used much anymore, it is grown in the drier sections of the US a din the Andean region of South America. It's an older type of corn, and is found in a lot of graves of the Aztecs and Incas. Since the kernel is so soft, the American Indians could make it into flour.

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn has an almost clear, horny kernel when it is still young. The kernels become wrinkled when dry. The ears can be eaten fresh, or can be stored in cans. The only difference between sweet and dent corn is that sweet corn has a gene which prevents some sugar from being converted into starch. It is grown a lot as a winter crop, in the southern US.

Waxy Corn
These kernels appear waxy. Chemically, it has a different type of starch than normal corn starch. It was developed in China, and some waxy mutations have occurred in America dent strains. Very little is grown, and that which is, is used for producing a starch similar to tapioca starch.

Podcorn
Podcorn isn't grown commercially, but it is used a lot in studying the origin of corn. It resembles varieties of the primitive corns. Every kernel we enclosed in a pod and the whole ear is also enclosed in a husk.

When growing corn, make sure you pick the right type of corn that suits your soil and your needs. You don't want to grow the wrong kind and ruin a whole planting season.

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