A study of ripening corn
In the fall of 1892 a line of investigation was undertaken by the writer with a view to determining some of the successive changes that take place in a crop of com in the process of ripening, and also to ascertain the character, composition and quantity of product, and an indication of its feeding value, when harvested in different stages of growth. To this end five plots of one-fifth of an acre each of good well grown field com were put in shock at intervals of a week, commencing on September 17, and ending October 18, and in addition a plot of equal area was left in the field until December 17, and the stalks then cut as in shocking, and weighed and sampled for analysis. The purpose was to follow as closely as possible, the most approved methods in common farm practice, and the fodder was shocked and left in the field and samples taken in the condition that it would be found in feeding from the shock several months later. On the date named the shocked com grown on each plot was husked in the field, the com and stover brought in and weighed separately and sampled for analysis. Weights were taken of the entire product of com and stover from each plot. The shocks were twelve hills square and were put up by what is known as the “jack” system; that is, a scantling two by four inches by fourteen feet, supported at one end by two legs about four feet long, the other end resting on the ground, and a four inch fence board, five feet long, passing through a mortised hole four feet from the upper end of the scantling constituted a frame work around which the shocks were built, thus partially dividing each shock into four sections and enabling the fodder to cure perfectly although the first and second cuttings were quite green when put up. When the com was brought in on December 17, there was six or eight inches of snow on the ground, but all shocks were standing well and the com fodder, except for a little snow that had drifted in, was found to be dry, bright and well cured.