PRESS BULLETIN 215
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
By A. P. Spencer
Corn is ripe enough to harvest when the kernels are well glazed over
and firm, and one-third of the stalks and leaves are turning yellow. At
this stage, growth has stopped and the ear and stalk are drying.
To get a good quality of blade fodder the leaves must be pulled while
most of them are green. This will reduce the yield by. from three to five
bushels per acre from a twenty-five bushel corn crop, because the leaves
are the organs which manufacture starch and sugar. Fodder pulling is
slow,, expensive work. Blade fodder has but little feeding value, and four
hundred pounds per acre is a good yield from a twenty-five bushel crop; for
which we pay three to five bushels of good corn, and the cost of pulling.
Fodder pulling is a wasteful practice.
Cutting should begin when the shucks are turning straw yellow, and the
kernels getting firm (about ten days later than the stage for fodder pulling).
By cutting at this stage the yield is not reduced, and the fodder is in the
best condition for saving. The ground may then be cleared, except where
the rows of shocks stand so that crab grass, beggarweed, or cowpea hay may
be mowed and raked up six weeks later without gathering a quantity of
worthless corn stalks.
Except in an unusually wet season spoiled corn and stover in the shock
is the result of improper setting up. The shocks must be large enough
to stand gusts of wind, yet not so large as to prevent free circulation of
air, without which both corn and stover will mildew or rot. The shock
should contain about 140 plants, or should be about four and a half feet
wide at the base. Nine or ten rows of corn may be put into one row of shocks.
JulyI 5, 1913
If the shocKs are set on the fifth row they may contain the corn from the four
rows on each side. The stalks should be set with as small a slant toward the
center at the top as will stand well. No stalks should be tangled or set cross-
wise. If the rain can run off quickly very little will soak in. When all the corn
is in the shock it should stand upright. It should be tied tightly, close to
the top, with a lath cord. Another cord is tied about fifteen inches below
this, all the ears on the outside of the shock are turned down, and a third
cord is tied round immediately below them. After about ten days all the
cords should be tightened, as the shock will have shrunk enough to loosen
the bands. If all the bundles in the shock have the same slant the shock
will withstand the winds, and the rain will run off instead of soaking in.
Starting the Shock
In starting a shock perfectly upright, a shocking frame will be useful.
This is made by using a light pole, or a piece of 2 by 4 lumber, twelve feet
long. Nail two legs, four feet long, four feet from one end, setting them
as a V, and brace them. They form a tripod with the pole. An inch hole
is bored across the projecting part of the long pole, two feet from the upper
end, and a broom handle or piece of gas pipe put through it horizontally.
When ready to set the shock, the frame is placed in the location of the shock
and the corn stalks set in the four angles. When the shock is set, the top
is tied and the broom handle pulled out. The frame is removed and the
shock will be left in an upright position, when the other cords can be put
Another method is to tie the tops of four hills from two rows together,
(not cutting them), and.build the shock around them.
If any of the shocks get in a leaning position they require to be straight-
ened up at once. When leaning they readily soak up a quantity of rain, and
mildew or rot quickly in hot weather. In about a month in good weather
the ears may be pulled off, shucked, and placed in the crib, and the fodder
put into a rack, or shredded and baled.
Feeding Value of Corn Stover
Corn stover, which includes all of the plant except the ear, if well
cured, has a higher feeding value than is generally supposed. When
Timothy hay is worth $30 per ton, corn stover is worth $24 per ton. When
alfalfa hay is worth $28 per ton ,corn stover is worth $21.50 per ton. Corn
stover is good feed for horses and cattle, and has been found superior to
Timothy hay in actual feeding tests with dairy cows and fattening steers.
State papers please copy.