The August issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer announced a contest that could win you up to 12 bags of free seed for 2012! That's the first place prize. Second place gets 8 bags, and third place will win four bags. The seed will be provided by Seed Consultants, Inc. The company concentrates it's sales efforts in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.
Think about it- 12 bags of seed- that's up to a $2,000 value. And all you have to do is provide one simple date- your guess of when this season will reach 2,900 Growing Degree Days in central Indiana. Growing Degree Days are the measurement of heat units that determines how fast corn grows and matures.
Growing degree days typically start accumulating in early March. They will accumulate anytime the daily high is above 50 degrees. The formula takes the daily high, up to 86 degrees F, and the daily minimum, down to 50 degrees, adds them together, divides by 2 to get an average, then subtracts 50. That gives you and average for the day.
The higher the number fo growing degree days, the faster corn plants grow. That's why the formula is capped at 86 degrees. That's the highest temperature that is thought to produce positive corn growth. Above that temperature corn production per day tapers off, and at some point stress sets in.
The numbers accumulated each day add up. SO by the end of the season, some areas approach 3,000 GDDs. The only trick is that your corn hybrid doesn't get to use the ones that occur before it is planted.
On the flip side, companies rate hybrids by relative maturity, and there is no standard rating system. But if you know that most hybrids need 2,400 to 2,700 GDDs to mature, then you can estimate when your hybrid might mature. You can subtract 200 GDDs for the requirements that it takes to mature for corn planted around June 1 or after.
So just guess which date you believe the total GDDs for 2011 will reach 2,900 in central Indiana. Send your guess, along with name, phone number, email, cell phone number, acres of corn, soybeans and wheat produced, and either send it to: Indiana Prairie Farmer, PO Box 347, Franklin, IN 46131, or email it to email@example.com.The deadline is Sept. 14. Don't wait too long to enter!