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Kansas Farmer Grows Open Polinated Corn
Loring Nelson, of Salina, Kan., is experimenting with an open-pollinated corn variety he feels has the potential "to surpass anything else on the market."
Nelson had been raising Indian Squaw Corn, which is a little known open-pollinated variety, for 15 to 20 years when he decided to cross it with two other unusual varieties. The first was "Mexican jumping corn", which he was able to buy on a limited basis from a local seed company, and the second was Reed Yellow dent corn, another obscure variety now grown only by experimenters. He got his seed from a grower in eastern Kansas.
"I used the squaw corn to get the size of stalk, the Mexican corn to get height and the yellow dent to increase the sugar content," Nelson says. "We mixed the three varieties and planted equal amounts in the same field and we've been replanting the seed from that cross for the last several years. Now it's finally stabilized into a uniform crop. The stalks are 12 to 16 ft. tall and many of the cobs are as big around as a coffee cup and very long. It makes a sweet silage and a nutritious feed grain."
The big-eared corn looks some-thing like a king-sized version of Indian corn, with multi-colored kernels. Nelson says livestock seem to prefer silage made from the corn. "A test analysis has shown the corn contains 22 trace minerals compared to only 8 to 12 minerals in hybrid varieties so I feel it is more nutritious."
The new corn has been yielding around 100 bu. per acre without irrigation and Nelson has been selling seed to neighboring farmers. Last fall. however, a prairie fire swept through hundreds of acres in the Salina area and wiped out his 10 acre plot. He was not able to sell seed on a wide-spread basis but had enough carried over from the year before to replant this year.
For more details. contact: FARM SHOW Followup. Loring Nelson. Rt. 1, Salina. Kan. 67401 (ph 913 823-8270).

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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #2