CORE Farmer Program Class Dives into Corn Physiology

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KyCorn’s CORE Farmer Program hosted Class IV last month for their fourth of seven sessions. The 15 farmers met in the Pennyrile Region for agronomic discussions with farmers and UK extension specialists.

The session began in Hopkinsville on Sisk Farms. Joseph Sisk, a graduate of Class II, hosted the class. The group entered several fields with shovels. The corn was at milk stage to dough stage, and discussion focused on irrigation strategy. 

In several field demonstrations, they compared everything from timing of water to fertility and populations for corn under pivots. Later in the day, the group found some shade trees to talk about Joseph’s process for selecting fields to invest in irrigation, his process for choosing equipment, and his method for water withdrawal.

The class met with extension specialists the following day in Princeton. In the morning, they observed soil pits with a variety of soil types and profiles. Dr. Lloyd Murdock discussed how these various soils were formed and how that affected several factors, including drainage and water holding capacity.  Later that morning, they discussed fertility strategies for those various soils. In the afternoon, the topics included plant pathology, and Dr. Chad Lee led a group exercise of comparing individual crop management anonymously, which stretched their curiosity and comfort zones.

Spencer Sims, an Anderson County grain and cattle farmer in Class IV commented, “It’s so good to talk to farmers who are willing to share the good and the bad things, and I appreciate how this program provides that.”  

This class will have three more sessions over the next several months.  KyCorn anticipates enrollment for Class V next fall.

COREJennifer Elwell