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2012 corn crop has no grain

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By Gary Carter

By Gary Carter, Co. ext. agent
Many of the fields in Harrison County and also other counties in Central Kentucky look good. The one exception is the corn has no grain.
Many of the fields grew normally early in the season.  When the extreme dry and hot weather occurred corn was attempting to develop and ear and receive pollen. With the extreme weather, little or no grain fill formed and we now have corn stalks with limited grain.
Many folks are struggling with the decision of what to do with the corn. The field on the Ritchie farm was chopped and created nearly 400 tons of silage. This amount of silage would be enough silage to feed over 100 beef cows through the winter. Although the volume is good, the silage lacks one thing and that is grain. Grain is an important ingredient for the animals because it creates energy during the cold winter months. Therefore grain will need to be added to complete the diet.
This crop also has an additional concern for the farmer. Nitrate levels from the fertilization may be stored in the plant because of the plant not growing properly. High nitrate levels can lead to death of animals so most farmers should have the levels checked before utilizing it. Do not attempt to graze the corn unless samples are checked.
If producers are interested in checking their corn, contact the Harrison County Extension Office at 234-5510 for more details.
Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.