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  1. #1
    Gold Member redlevel's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    Posts
    357
    Location
    100 miles south of Atlanta
    Tractor
    Ford 600; Farmtrac 535

    Default Planting Corn

    I finally got my corn planted on the Saturday before and the Monday after Easter. That's really a little bit late for this area, but considering the weather we had Easter weekend, I'm probably just as well off.

    Here is how it went.

    First, I had to get the land ready. Most of the corn was planted on a field than has not been cultivated for about five or six years. I didn't even take a soil sample. I knew I needed at least 500 lb of 5-10-15 per acre and a ton of lime per acre. I put the fertilizer out with my cone spreader and hired a truck to apply 1.5 tons of lime per acre. I'll pull a soil sample this fall and see if I still need more lime.


    I had tried to start breaking some of the land with a bottom plow last fall, but quickly found that there was too much of a hard pan to allow the plow to stay in the ground. I decided that subsoiling was the best thing to do. Here, I have subsoiled on about 60" centers, pulling the subsoiler at least 16" deep. The Farmtrac 535 did a good job in 3rd gear. As you can see, subsoiling when the moisture is right (not too wet, not too dry) actually "shatters" the soil 10 to 16 inches on either side of the actual subsoiler trench. Some of the newer parabolic subsoilers will do an even better job.


    This shows where I went back for a second trip with the subsoiler, actually running the tractor tires in the rows made by the first pass. This helps break up any clods that were pulled up, and doesn't appreciably re-compact the soil. The result leaves a subsoiler trench every 30", and a very soft and deeply plowed field. In years to come I should be able to easily plow the field with a bottom plow.


    Two trips with a disc harrow, one immediately after the subsoiling operation and the other after a rain and immediately before planting got the soil in pretty good shape to plant. All this tillage incorporated the fertilizer and lime into the soil. The ground was still very soft, and I didn't want to compact the soil any more by harrowing again to get a smoother, more even seedbed. Besides, I was in a hurry.

    I used Covington planters, an old set my father-in-law used for close to 50 years.

    I am the distinguished looking portly gentleman on the 600 Ford with the Covington planters. This particular field is a smaller food plot close to the farmhouse.

    Here are some of the different seed plates available for the Covingtons.

    The plate on the left is for planting larger-seeded crops, like peanuts, and has eight cells, or points where seed are picked up as the plate revolves. The plate in the middle is a six-cell corn plate, and is the one I used (one in each planter). The plate on the right is a four-cell corn plate that I use when planting on poor land, or when planting corn very late.

    Here you can see the that the plate has picked up a single corn seed kernel in one of the cells and is about to drop it into the seed tube.


    Spacing can be adjusted by changing plates and/or changing the sprockets on the ground drive wheel and the driven wheel as you can see in this picture.


    My planters probably look a little different than some other Covingtons you may see. I have removed the larger fertilizer hoppers that go in front of the other two boxes or hoppers. A cotton hopper, in front of the grain (corn) hopper, is included on these planters. Those round hoppers were used to plant cotton that had not had the "fuzz" removed. Farmers used to call that "gin run" seed. Acid delinted cotton seed were planted in the grain hoppers. I believe my fil added the rubber press wheels sometime in the late 1960's or early 70's. They make it easier to plant in sticky soil, and also do a better job of sealing and firming the soil over the seed.



    This year I chose to plant Roundup Ready seed since some of the plots have bermuda grass patches in them. Hopefully, I will not have to cultivate the corn at all. The old-timers insisted on plowing corn twice, whether it needed it or not. In those pre-herbicide years, especially if it was a wet year, it usually needed it. Now, savvy farmers claim you are only "plowing the ears off" if you plow clean corn. Research has shown that unneeded cultivation destroys a lot of very small feeder roots and allows moisture to escape.

    These are the two tractors I did the work with. I wouldn't be afraid to tackle a hundred acre farm with these two tractors and a part-time hired man to help me a few weeks in the spring.


    In a few weeks, hopefully, I can pull this thread back to the top and show you rows of fast-growing corn. Then, this fall, I hope to show you some good, well-filled-out ears of corn.

    We'll see.

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    274
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo
    Tractor
    New Holland TC55DA

    Default Re: Planting Corn

    REDLEVEL,

    Did you plant Field Corn , or Sweet Corn?

    How large of plot did you plant?
    New Holland TC55DA R1 AGs, 18LA ,HM Toothbar, 2 remotes

  3. #3
    Platinum Member TNhobbyfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    784
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Tractor
    Kubota 3430 4WD

    Default Re: Planting Corn

    Nice job Redlevel. I haven't planted my corn yet. I usually put in about 3 acres and don't plant until the end of April. I also use round up ready corn, however, I do use a preemergent weed killer called Bicep. Bicep contains Dual and Atrizine. That may be overkill with todays RU ready corn, but I have a lot of weeds and I usually only have to use Glysophate once.

    To make a good corn yield you need lots of nitrogen, usually in the neighborhood of 100-150 lbs per acre. That is around 6-9 bags of 34-0-0 per acre. I am wondering if your fertilizer treatment has sufficient nitrogen.

    I agree with you that cultivating when few weeds are present is a waste of time and money. Round UP ready corn has about made the need to use a cultivator almost non existent except in sweet corn which doesn't have the Round Up ready option.

    Well anyway, good luck with your corn. Post some more pictures when it gets up. I'll do the same with my corn.

  4. #4
    Member Nickahawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    33
    Location
    South Cen Kansas
    Tractor
    Kubota '2007 L4400, JD '1975 1020 3 cly gas/w FEL

    Default Re: Planting Corn

    A real nice job of documenting with pictures and description of exactically what you did. Post more pictures when it starts to come up.

  5. #5
    Elite Member thcri's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
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    4,672
    Location
    Minnesota SE
    Tractor
    New Holland TC29D, 2001

    Default Re: Planting Corn

    Planting corn, we still have snow and frost on the ground. I have been trying to bid on a single row corn planter on ebay for the past 6 weeks but am just too cheap to pay the prices they are getting for them. I have a fairly large plot for sweet corn but will have to plant by hand again this year. Takes almost all day where if I had a planter I could do it in about 20 minutes.

    murph
    "This country was founded and built by people with great dreams and the courage to take great risks."

  6. #6
    Bronze Member VA Rebel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    85
    Location
    Ole Virginny
    Tractor
    JD4100, JD2555, JD2155, JD4420 Combine

    Default Re: Planting Corn

    Hello,
    New to the board, just wondering how your corn was doing? We haven't seen much rain so far in VA. Is your corn strictly for food plots or do you cut it?

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,212

    Default Re: Planting Corn

    so, cool pictures BTW
    Was way out east of denver to pick up a pressure washer from a farmer and was just talking
    he's planting corn this year on his land, which is about SEVEN THOUSAND ACRES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i still cant' get over that, that's like 11 square miles.
    Amazing.

    Anyway, cool pictures and thread
    how is the corn doing?

  8. #8
    Gold Member redlevel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    357
    Location
    100 miles south of Atlanta
    Tractor
    Ford 600; Farmtrac 535

    Default Re: Planting Corn

    I'll have more pictures and an update on the corn later this week.

    It is just for food plots and home consumption. Here in the South we eat as much or more field corn as we do sweet corn. Creamed corn is what we call it.

    Here is a picture of some corn I grew for grain about 10 years ago. It was irrigated and heavily fertilized. This particular field, about 10 acres, yielded a little more than 175 bushels per acre.


  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    45
    Location
    Sandyfield, NC
    Tractor
    MF GC2300

    Default Re: Planting Corn

    My Gawd Man....that's some serious korn!!

  10. #10
    Gold Member SCDolphin's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    437
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Tractor
    Kubota L5240: Craftsman GT6500

    Default Re: Planting Corn

    RedLevel

    Great article. I am new at this and on fire to plant corn. I am still lookin for planters. I have about 18 acres that I want to plant. I have been debating on buying a subsoiler. I don't think that has been done in a long time at my place. I will have to do everything with my 4wd compact. I son't have the luxury of moving my wheels so I will have to figure out how to space correctly. So much to learn.....so little time.

    Thanks for the picts....very helpful
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