Re: Corn patch made into crop circles

Chris said:

Their good luck, partly. Straight line winds from thunderstorms have been known to lay over groups of TREES. Field corn can suffer blow-downs.
I also suspect the large fields are most vulnerable to lesser winds at the edges. Compared to the large field, your small patch is all edge.

Stand it all back up. Bring in garden soil or (even better) some good compost and plop it down at the bottom of the corn stalk. Locate the mound of compost where it will do the most good to prop up the plant. This might not be enough for tall corn. In which case, drive some stakes along the end of each row and run some twine along the row, looping the twine around the stalks to prop them up and tying it of to the stakes at each end. Or, with block plantings, run a grid of twine through the plot to prop them up. And then do the compost at the base of the stalk thing.

You are never going to prevent it completely, but to minimize the chances, hill up the corn with soil brought in from another bed or with compost before it gets more than thigh high. Make sure your soil is not short of potassium. (I give my corn extra K to help ensure strong roots and stems.)
Keep on hand materials to prop it up.
I have had no blow-downs for a couple of years, then suffered one this year. We have had some unusually strong, fast moving storms this summer.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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snipped-for-privacy@taconic.net (Chris) writes:

Possibly. If your plants were crowded enough that they didn't develop as much root system as they normally would, that wouldn't help. But this is just a typical problem with corn, so you may not have done anything wrong. Corn just doesn't develop a very strong root system below the soil, and it presents a big target for wind.

Probably, although I've seen plenty of large fields where corn around the edges was standing tall after a storm and large patches in the middle of the field were flattened.

If the ground is very wet, you may be able to stand it back up, as someone else suggested. It may stand back up somewhat on it's own, too. If you can't stand it back up without breaking the stalks, it will probably grow okay where it is, as long as the ears aren't actually touching the ground, but it'd be better for pollination to stand it up if possible.

There's not much you can do, short of building a windbreak of some sort around your corn. Farmers buy crop insurance to cover it, and do their best to harvest it anyway, even if it means using special equipment to pull the downed stalks into the combine.
--
Aaron
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x
together,
though,
Now,
One possibility might be that your neighbors with their large plantings are growing field corn, while you are growing sweet corn. In my experience, sweet corn plants aren't as robust as field corn. Once, three or four years ago, my corn plants grew extraordinarily tall and strong and bore extremely large ears. These were supposed to be Florida Staysweet, which I had successfully grown before. However, this corn was tasteless, so I presumed it was field corn. I don't think a hurricane would have blown that corn over.
In the distant past I grew Illini, which was the first variety of supersweet corn. These plants lacked vigor, were short and weak and very prone to wind. Since then, I've grown Kandy Korn and Jubilee, with no wind problems. Perhaps I was just lucky, but both of these varieties are more robust than Illini.
In short, the variety of corn you grow may make a difference.
Guy Bradley Chesterfield MO zone 6
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