Field Corn Planting Time

It’s that time of year again to dust off the tractor and take it out for a spin.

Remember last fall when I showed corn being harvested? Well, today, I’ll show how it’s planted.

When I caught up with Harland, he had just run out of seed corn for the planter, so we headed back to the barn to get more bags.

We’ve been married almost 3 years now, and the bloom is off the rose:  I had to ride in the back of the pickup. Some nonsense about the passenger seat being full of stuff. Yeah, sure, whatever.

At the barn, he got bags of corn loaded up.

Hmmm….they look heavy, and I would help, but all I have is puny girl arms.

Back at the field, he fills the seed boxes on the planter.

Once filled, each box is topped off with a sprinkling of baby powder.

After all, the seed corn is a bunch of babies and they need their baby powder.  Ha ha…a small joke.

Get it?

Seriously, the baby powder keeps the corn running smoothly through the planter.

Ok, so now that all the little corn behinds have been powdered, we’re ready to plant. But first a quick tutorial on how the planter works.

Hey, you’re not doing any planting until you get how all this works, so listen up.

The corn is planted in 3 steps.

As the planter is pulled behind the tractor,

  1. These wheels with teeth (sorry, I don’t know the names of all this stuff) turn and dig out a furrow.
  2. The corn seed is deposited into the furrow.
  3. These discs turn and fill the furrow with soil covering the seed.

Here’s the planter is action. With each pass around the field, it plants 6 rows of corn.

Occasionally, Harland hops off the tractor to check the seed depth. If it’s planted to shallow or too deep, it may not germinate. So he digs down to the seed that was just planted.

And there it is, right where it should be:  1 1/2 to 2 inches deep.

Ok, time to get in the tractor and go a few laps around the field. Harland gets in first.

And then it’s your turn. Hop up.  Smile Harland, we have company. There’s a place to sit over on the right, you’ll see when you get up there.

Now that you’re settled in, Harland takes off. Hold on to your hats. The top speed when planting corn is 5 miles per hour.

Here’s the view looking out the front window,

and looking out the back window down at the planter.

After a few laps, we get back down and watch as Harland drives away.

When he gets to the far edge of the field, he turns around to come back.

And so Harland continues up and down the field for the rest of the evening.

It took him about 4 days going from early morning ’til after dark each night.

I’ll have more posts about the corn when it comes up, and throughout the summer as it grows. And next fall, when the corn is harvested, I’ll share that with you as well.

And so the farm year goes.

To everything a season.