Seed Corn Harvest Underway

September 08, 2017

A sure sign of fall is the beginning of the harvest.  This week several fields of seed corn were picked in the area.  The seed corn industry in Whiteside County has grown over the past few decades and is now estimated to cover aproximately 20,000 acres.

A picker moves through a field of seed corn
near Tampico on Thursday.

 

Several companies including Pioneer, Wyffels, Monsanto, Ag Reliant (LG), and Channel raise their hybrids around the Prophetstown and Tampico areas.

 

The fields are planted in a staggered fashion over a three to five week period to allow the harvest to take the same period of time as to not overwhelm the processing facilities. The corn is picked with the kernels still on the cob as opposed to the common method of shelling.

 

 

 

 

Some of the pickers operate with corn heads of up to fourteen rows and can cover hundreds of acres in a day. The crops are treated with a lot of TLC including irrigation, being walked by workers during the growing season to detassel and derouge the fields.  The fields are also closely monitored during the summer to ensure their are no issues with disease or other types of damage.

A harvester makes a turn at the end of
a seed corn field.

 

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