Corn

Learn about Corn planting, tillage, irrigation, economics, pests, fertility, and weeds.

Planting

Corn Silage Variety Performance

This report summarizes on-farm performance of irrigated silage corn hybrids at Benson (Cache County) in 2006. The site is at 4439 ft elevation and has a long-term average of 2800 corn growing degree days (50/86° F) per year. Hybrids were seeded with a six-row planter on May 10 at approximately 35,000 seeds/ac into Kidman fine sandy loam. Plots were six rows wide at 30-in row spacing by 1070 ft long in three randomized complete blocks.

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Harvesting

Chopping and Storing Quality Corn Silage

Utah growers produce approximately 990,000 tons of corn silage annually, providing important forage in livestock and dairy diets. Properly harvested and stored, corn silage is extremely palatable, superior to other forages in energy content, a great fiber source, and relatively consistent in quality. The high palatability of corn silage encourages feed intake which contributes to higher milk yields, greater weight gains and additional farm profits.

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Tillage

The Ten Most Common Mistakes in Using No-Till

Interest in no-till (NT) crop production practices has increased greatly among Utah farmers and ranchers in recent years. The primary benefits of implementing a cropping system with little or no tillage includes improved soil quality (improved soil moisture retention, improved soil structure, greater nutrient cycling, and increased soil organic matter) and increased economic profitability (reduced labor, equipment costs, and fuel). Although new to many Utah growers, NT has been successfully utilized by producers across the U.S. for many years.

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Irrigation

4R’s of Irrigation Management

The research community and fertilizer industry have developed and utilized a framework termed “4R nutrient management” to help improve fertilizer stewardship. For decades, national and international organizations and institutes such as The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) have worked diligently to promote the research and use of fertilizer 4R’s.

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Defense Against Drought

Utah’s climate can often be harsh and unpredictable. As the nation’s second driest state, Utah is commonly subject to droughts. Extensive statewide droughts have often lasted 5 to 6 years. It is imperative that farmers are well prepared to defend against drought to minimize risk and losses.

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Economic Feasibility of Solar Photovoltaic Irrigation Systems 

The Great Basin is primarily located in Nevada, western Utah, and small sections of southern Oregon and Idaho. The Great Basin is noted for its arid conditions and high percentage of publically owned land. The potential for solar energy generation in the Great Basin is vast.

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Water Rights in Utah

If you are connected to a municipal system, your water is probably categorized as “culinary or municipal water” and is used for everything from drinking and bathing to washing the car to watering tomatoes. However the Utah Division of Water Rights takes a more itemized approach to water use when applied outside of a municipal system.

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Irrigation Canal Lining?

Irrigation canals placed in native soil or lined with earth can have seepage water losses varying from 20 percent to more than 50 percent. Well designed, new compacted earth lined canals can have reduced seepage losses similar to concrete lined channels. However, consistent and regular maintenance is required to keep seepage losses low.

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Energy Conservation with Irrigation Water Management

Irrigators in Utah experienced rapidly increasing energy costs from the mid 1970s to the late 1980s. These costs remain relatively high. Those who are pumping from deep wells are particularly interested in ways to cut back on energy use without doing away with profitability or production.

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How Good is Your Water Measurement?

Accurate water measurement is essential to maintaining equity of water delivery within an irrigation company or water districts. Good management of our scarce water resource is dependent upon quantifying supplies and uses with accurate measurement techniques. State water rights adjudication and management procedures often require installation of water measurement devices and keeping records of flows.

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Economics

Crop Specific

Costs and Returns for Roundup Ready™ Grain Corn

Enterprise budgets are the building blocks of a farm or ranch. They represent estimates of income and expenses for a specific period of time using a set of production practices and inputs for that enterprise. This research contains sample costs and returns to establish and produce grain corn under flood irrigation in Box Elder County. It is intended to be a guide used to estimate income and expenses, list inputs and production practices and provide a framework for the whole farm plan.

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Costs and Returns for Roundup Ready™ Silage Corn

Enterprise budgets are the building blocks of a farm or ranch. They represent estimates of income and expenses for a specific period of time using a set of production practices and inputs for that enterprise. This research contains sample costs and returns to establish and produce silage corn under flood irrigation in Box Elder County. It is intended to be a guide used to estimate income and expenses, list inputs and production practices and provide a framework for the whole farm plan.

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Buying and Selling Corn Silage or Other High Moisture Feeds: Value the Feed not the Water

Questions often arise among growers who have corn silage or alfalfa silage (haylage) to sell and dairy producers and feedlot operators who are looking to buy those feeds as to how to establish a fair price. Because of the high moisture content of these feeds (50-75% water) and other similar feeds (barley silage, oat silage, sorghum silage and wheat silage) the transportation costs are rather substantial relative to the value of the feed. Therefore, these feeds are usually marketed on a local basis and there may be no market price reported for these high moisture feeds.

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Utah, Corn Commodity Insurance Fact Sheet

Field corn planted for harvest as grain or silage. Counties Available:

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General


Pests

Corn Earworm

In Utah, there are typically three generations of corn earworm (CEW) each year. The first generation of adults either come from overwintering pupae (southern and central Utah), or migrate into northern Utah. The adult moth is tannish brown with a 1 1/2 inch wingspan. The front wings are marked with a distinct dark spot in the center and darker bands near the outer margins.

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Western corn rootworm

Western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, is one of the most devastating corn insect pests in the United States. In some years, corn rootworms can cause up to $1 billion in yield loss and control costs. In Utah, western corn rootworm has been detected in at least 13 counties, but likely can be found throughout the state wherever corn is grown.

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Pesticide Toxicity and Formulation

Pesticides are substances that control unwanted organisms. A pesticide can be used to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate pests. Common pest organisms include insects, plants, fungi, bacteria, plant-parasitic nematodes, viruses, snails and slugs, and nuisance vertebrate animals. Risks of pesticide exposure to humans, other nontarget species, and the environment are primarily influenced by a pesticide’s toxicity and formulation.

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Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers are among the most conspicuous insects in Utah, and are viewed by many as also among the most injurious to our crops and rangelands. In any given year, thousands of acres may be sprayed throughout the state to reduce potential damage. While at times grasshoppers may inflict intolerable loss, we must recognize that only a few species cause economic damage. We must also understand that because outbreaks can occur simultaneously across the landscape, suppression programs may be successful only when they are wellplanned and carried out over large acreages.

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Boom Sprayer Calibration for Pesticide Applications

To protect your investment in agricultural pesticides, a boom sprayer should be calibrated at the start of the season and whenever application conditions change. Also, sprayer output should be periodically checked throughout the season to assure proper application rate. Although boom sprayers are calibrated in a variety of ways, each method utilizes the measurements of nozzle flow rate and equipment travel speed.

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Fertility

Crop Specific

The Potential for Reducing N Fertilizer Inputs for Corn Production in the First Year Following Alfalfa

Crop rotation is an important practice in the production of field and forage crops, with well-known benefits of improving the soil (moisture, structure, fertility, and organic matter), minimizing pests and diseases, and providing economic diversification. On irrigated farmland in Utah, the typical crop rotation consists of alfalfa for 4-6 years, followed by 1-2 years of corn or a small grain, then back to alfalfa.

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General


Weeds

Noxious Weed Field Guide for Utah

Invasive noxious weeds have been described as a raging biological wildfire – out of control, spreading rapidly, and causing enormous economic losses. Millions of acres in North America have been invaded or are at risk of being invaded by weeds, including cropland, pastures, rangelands, forests, wilderness areas, national parks, recreation sites, wildlife management areas, transportation corridors, waterways, wetlands, parks, golf courses, even yards and gardens. Noxious weeds are capable of spreading at rates of up to 60% annually.

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Fortifying Farms and Ranches Againgst Weed Invasion

The problem with newly introduced weeds is that they are often more aggressive, persistent, harmful, and more difficult to control than those historically managed. Any farm or ranch in the western U.S. has at least a few weeds that have come from other places that are now having a negative impact on profitability. Regardless of the number of weeds that currently infest a farm or ranch, there are literally hundreds of new weeds in neighboring farms, towns, counties, states, and even countries that threaten to gain entry.

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