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Forced Corn Pollination
An airplane engine and propeller mounted on a highboy tractor do a great job forcing pollination during calm days in July and August at Moore Seed Farms near Elsie, Mich. Carter Moore, who farms with his father Bob and brother Alan, told FARM SHOW the idea could be used in any cornfield.
The Moores raise about 400 acres of seed corn and many of the inbred lines they use have a low pollen yield. During pollination, they run the airplane engine and prop through the field every day, aiming the prop just above the tassles so that the pollen blows high into the air. In many of the inbreds, they say, they can notice a doubling of yields versus crops grown without the mechanical "pollination improver."
"On windy days, there's no problem. But, when the wind dies, it really helps," Carter told FARM SHOW. The Moores bought the engine and prop for $1,000 from a man who salvages wrecked airplanes. Mounted on the highboy, it burns 9 to 10 gal. of regular gas per hour at the same time they blow pollen. They also use the prop to apply Sevin to corn fields to control adult root-worms. A spray boom is mounted downwind of the propeller and is fitted with 100 psi cone spray nozzles. Because of the capacity of the propeller-driven mist, Sevin is applied at lower than ? to 1/5th normal rates.
The 6-cyl. engine and prop can treat 80 to 90 rows at a pass traveling at 2 to 3 mph.
"This idea would work well with any type of foliar fertilizers or late season insecticides. It provides an even coat over the entire plant," says Carter.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Moore Seed Farms, Rt. 1, Elsie, Mich. 48831 (ph 517 862-4686).

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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #5