Home Crop Monitoring Corn School: Smoke, pollination, and silage quality

Corn School: Smoke, pollination, and silage quality


It’s been a troublesome yr for growers within the west — some crops are getting by rain to rain, and some are counting on soil moisture alone with the possibility of rain being a hope. Drought can have an effect on silage quality and yield, clearly, however how can smoke from wildfires have an effect on the corn crop?

Sara Meidlinger, market growth agronomist at PRIDE Seeds joins Kara Oosterhuis for this Corn Faculty episode to debate silage quality, pollination, smoke results, and extra.

There’s not plenty of analysis on the results of smoke on a crop, attributable to variability yr to yr, however on the whole the smoke is obstructing out photo voltaic radiation that may in any other case contribute to photosynthesis and carbohydrate manufacturing, says Meidlinger.

“Carbon dioxide, water, plus light, makes your carbohydrates, which the plant uses to grow, develop, produce seed,” says Meidlinger. “Having less solar radiation means less photosynthesis, so that might delay our harvest a little bit.”

Smoky, hazy circumstances might be likened to shade, beneath which yield loss can occur. Looking for the silver lining, Meidlinger says that after these extremely scorching days, the smoke is giving the crop a little bit of a break.

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The final week of July and into early August is when plenty of the corn silage, particularly in Alberta, is within the reproductive/tasseling stage; so with drought, Meidlinger says that timing of the crop when drought happens is necessary, in addition to the length of drought.

“If we had drought symptoms early in the year, and then we had some rain and it’s looking ok, you might not see as much of a yield impact as you do when you still have some drought-stressed corn at your flowering and pollination timing,” she says.

Kernel set occurs at 50 per cent pollination, and with silage, 50 per cent of the yield will come from ear growth; so if there’s poor ear growth, there will probably be poor yield. Additional to that, if ear growth isn’t nice then starch content material additionally most likely gained’t be good.

Nonetheless, Meidlinger says that there’s been some analysis that exhibits there’s extra soluble sugars in the entire plant, and when that plant will get to the bunker and the ensiling course of, there can nonetheless be some lactic acid manufacturing which can nonetheless be a little bit of power.

Nitrates are one thing to observe when slicing the silage, and Meiglinger says a pink flag is that if it rains earlier than slicing, and to attend three or 4 days to let nitrates settle again down. “A feed test is never a bad idea to look into,” she provides.

If components of the Prairies don’t see a rain, the corn crop will typically look quite a bit worse than it’s, and Meidlinger says that for silage harvest, 60 to 65 per cent moisture is the goal, however to double verify moisture earlier than slicing.


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