Featured Image Caption: Fresh and Ripe Corn Cob on Tree Stalk in Field
Corn is one of the most popular crops in the United States, with farmers harvesting more than 13 million acres of the crop each year. Corn is used for a variety of purposes, including animal feed, fuel, and food for humans. But what does it take to harvest an acre of corn?
A Place to Grow
For starters, you need a lot of lands. An acre of corn requires about 43,560 square feet of land, which is just slightly smaller than the size of a football field. The soil of this land will need to be tilled in preparation for planting. Attention will also need to be given to soil conditions, as too much or too little water can impact the growth of the crop, and nutrients will need to be added in order to ensure that the plants have everything they need to thrive. Depending on how acidic the soil is, limestone may also need to be added. Before purchasing any land, make sure that you have done your research and have read the survey reports thoroughly to ensure that the crops can grow and will be healthy for consumption.
The Right Time of Year
Corn is a warm-weather crop, so it needs to be planted in the spring after the last frost has passed. It needs to be planted in an area that receives a lot of sunlight and has temperatures that remain relatively consistent throughout the growing season. The ideal temperature for most corn varieties is between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. When planted at this time of year, you can expect a harvest in late summer or early fall. Depending on the type of corn that you plant, you may be considering selling it as a human product or product for livestock. This may also change your harvest time since freshness is a bit more important when selling it to a local grocery store.
The Right Seeds
There are many different types of corn seeds available, and the type you choose will depend on your climate and what you plan to use the corn for. Once you’ve chosen the right seeds, you’ll need to plant them. This is typically done using a corn planter, which spaces the seeds evenly in the ground and covers them with soil. Then, the crop is routinely watered and monitored for pests and diseases. Depending on the seeds that you purchase, they may require more pest control than other plants. Additionally, there have been so many innovations with seeds that you may not need as many as you have needed in the past since the efficiency of seeds has improved. That being said, if you want a non-GMO seed, you may find it challenging to find or purchase since corn is among the top altered plants for eating.
When the corn is ready to harvest, it will need to be cut from the stalk using a combined harvester. This machine separates the kernels of corn from the rest of the plant material and collects them in a storage bin. This process can be done by hand, but it would be far more efficient to contact Cappel Sales to discuss starter combine options. The kernels are then taken to a processing facility, where they can be turned into a number of different products.
Harvesting an acre of corn is no small feat, but it can be done with the right tools, the right seeds, and the right conditions. With a little bit of knowledge and planning, you can ensure a bountiful harvest of this versatile crop.
By Anica Oaks
who is a freelance writer who hails from San Francisco. When she’s not writing, she’s enjoying her time outside with her dogs.
Member since August, 2019
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