Manure no-no’s, cleaning corn to reduce vomitoxin levels, and trying to rush nature — this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word is jam-packed with answers to your toughest questions!
Peter Johnson kicks of the Word with a discussion on spreading dry vs. liquid manure on snow, and then gets specific on vomi reduction on corn (including why it’s so high in the first place!). Bottom line: we can’t do much about the weather or physiological responses in corn but we CAN do something about western bean cutworm.
From there, Pete talks upping nitrogen in the fall to breakdown corn stalks and if it works, why northern Ontario may not accumulate the heat units you think it should, and then he goes over some key reasons why you’re getting corn spoilage in the bin. (For more, watch: Corn School – Part 1 & Corn School — Bin vents).
Winter spreading: Just don’t! Is it safe to spread dry manure on two inches of snow? Trouble is, where the wind was blowing the snow can be much deeper. Just don’t. You can try and justify it, but from an environmental standpoint, just don’t. Please.
Vomitoxin in corn: It’s not in all areas, but farmers are facing deep discounts on infested grain, and discounts could get worse. Is there anything you can do? Can you clean it out? Well, sort of. You will get rid of the fines and that will lower vomi, but by how much? You might get 6 ppm down to 4 ppm through cleaning, but not likely. Sampling matters — a few infested kernels can significantly change the reading.
Breaking down corn stalks: Corn stalks break down slowly because of an unfavorable carbon to nitrogen ratio. Can you speed it up by chopping stalks and adding N or manure? What about adding legumes? There is research out there, but the thing is the fall is too cold, even with added N (the soil bugs go sleepy sleepy). Oh! And worried about yellow soys at 3rd trifoliate? It doesn’t usually impact yield.
Corn spoilage on the bin wall: Freeze it! And you need more vents!