Growing field corn...will this work?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Ravenlost, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Next Spring we are going to plant about four acres in corn for the horses and possibly a couple cows. I have been reading up on corn planting and know that we need to turn the area this Fall (it's in hay right now). I've also read that corn really sucks the nutrients out of the soil so you need to rotate it.

    Now, it occurred to me that we should plant in strips...leaving strips between the rows that I could run the riding mower down. The next year we rotate...plow the strips and let the old rows rest.

    Would this work? My hubby (an Air Force brat who has never lived on a farm) thinks I'm nuts.
     
  2. blhmabbott

    blhmabbott We're gettin' there!

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    Ravenlost,
    Yes that will work. That's how we did it when we were raising our field corn for our animals. Corn needs extra nitrogen, so you can add it when it's about knee high, or the old stand by is have the guys pee in a jug and pour it on the ground about an inch from the stalk. We just had my dad and brother pee anywhere in the corn patch! :haha: Do you have a corn crib? Or will you be shelling it? We had an OLD hand crank sheller that we had to shell the cobs with and then stored the shelled corn because we didn't have a corn crib.
    Heather
     

  3. poorme

    poorme Well-Known Member

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    You won't wind up with much in the way of yield...
     
  4. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Why is that poorme?

    My dad is giving us one of his old hand crank corn shellers (they're the only kind I've ever used). We have a spare stall in the barn we can use to store the corn, or we can put it in the loft. We're thinking of leaving it in the field and just picking it as we need it (of course, we'll have to plant enough to share with the deer, coons, crows, mice, etc.).
     
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you expect to raise a crop anythin similar to what you see growing in fields along the road, you will need to put fertilizer on the ground. Leaving strips without adding the extra nutrients that the corn removes from the soil will not improve the soil fertility. Four acres of good corn would make way more than you should feed several horses, but the stover would cut back on your winter hay bill. What's your thoughts on feeding some pigs and chickens?
     
  6. poorme

    poorme Well-Known Member

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    It's just an inefficient way of producing corn. Bushels/acre will be very low due to low plant density and lack of fertilizer. Plus the plan will only work for 2 years, since the grass strips won't replace the nitrogen. Alfalfa for 3-4 years would come close to giving you enough nitrogen for corn.
     
  7. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    It will work,I would plant Red Clover in middle strips.But I would Fertilize.

    I don't know if it will work for Horses,but we use to make Cobmeal,running Corn Cob and all through a Hammer Mill,mix with,Alfalfa,Cotton Seed Meal,Dry Molasass,and Salt.Worked good for Cattle.

    big rockpile
     
  8. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    I almost forgot we use to plant Sorghum Cane,cut it shock it up,leave it in the field until we was ready to feed it.Cattle loved it and it had the sweetest smell.

    This might be your better option,if it is I would just plant the whole field.But we are dealing with Horses,so I really don't know.

    big rockpile
     
  9. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I would sow this fall with a good nitrogen fixing cover crop that can be turned in next spring. Also put all the manure you can get on the field. If you go at it right you can do a winter/summer rotation and grow all the corn you need. If that field is in grass hay, it prob is already pretty deficient in a lot of what corn needs to grow. Corn is in the same family as grass, so grass is not a good rotation. Field peas would be a good summer rotation and provide some good livestock fodder.
     
  10. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Unless you have an awful lot of pasture for your livestock, your best profit from the hayfield is to pasture it. No harvesting involved. Shocking and shucking 4 acres of corn is an all winter job for anyone not experienced with it. If you rotate your pastures and leave one get tall in the fall, your stock will go out there and graze, even with 5 inches of snow on the ground. The winter hay you'll save would be worth more than the value of the corn after deducting the expense of producing it.
     
  11. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have 96 acres. Once fencing is up we'll have two 30 acres pastures. The barn will have a separate barnlot. We have one 30 acre field that will remain in hay (unless we decide to rent it out). We have two other 3-4 acre plots that I can rotate for the corn, so strip planting isn't absolutely necessary. I would prefer to go completely organic, but hubby would probably prefer commercial fertilizer/pesticides/herbicides, etc. We fight about that a lot. :p Field peas rotated with corn is what I remember my Daddy doing.

    We have five horses and plan to raise a few head (3-4) of cattle a year. I will have chickens next year (I currently have one young hen and one guinea). I need the corn/fodder for the cattle, corn for the horses and chickens.

    And I need all the advice I can get. I grew up on a 56 acre farm raising pigs, cattle, goats, chickens/turkey/guineas/ducks/geese and rabbits. That was 38 years ago though. And my husband grew up on Air Force bases. He knows NOTHING. HELP!