Dryland Corn & Grazing Corn
Dryland corn has been something that people have contemplated or even tried over the years. Success with it is like any other dryland crop, good farming practices and mother nature.
A longer season crop like corn can sustain itself though dry periods as it uses moisture over such a longer period of time vs other crops
The tools you can utilize to give you the best chance of success are planting rates, planting depth and fertilizer.
1) Planting rates - Typically corn is planted at 32-34000 seeds per acre, with dryland corn in southern Alberta you will want to aim for 16-18000 seeds per acre. The half rate ensures that plants have the right spacing to allocate moisture properly.
2) Planting Depth – 1.5-2 inches would be optimal to create good root strength and the ability to reach available moisture
3) Fertilizer – When laying down fertilizer for corn you want to use a 1:1 ratio, 1 Ibs N for every bushel of expected yield. Optimal years for dryland corn you could see 120 bushel crops, 80-90 bushel ranges can be achieved consistently. https://www.stampseeds.com/corn.html
Grazing corn can be a great winter grazing option that can really pack on the pounds! When grazing corn you want to stick to later day maturing corn so that kernels stay softer to keep the palatability up. Thunderseed has developed high digestible varieties that can reach physiological maturity and be fully digestible to the cow. The stalks themselves are more digestible as well since the ear is lower which pushes the heavily lignified portion of the plant down. https://www.stampseeds.com/corn.html
If you are interested in either of these on your farm, chat with Blair Balog and he will get you situated with a variety that will work best for you at 403-634-4349 (calls & text)
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Greg Stamp CCA
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