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Fewer ears on corn this year

16 years ago

I planted my usual two varieties of short-season hybrid corn this year, and have seen far less ear formation than usual. The ears have been slower to form, I believe. But in any case, the formation (after tassling) has been maybe only 1/3 the usual.

My planting method and the garden area remained the same as over the last 20 years or so. I planted in two blocks (one for each variety), used fresh seed, and used my own compost plus rotted steer manure as the fertilizer. Watering was adequate, I believe. Temperatures in mid summer were somewhat hotter than usual.

I'm wondering about some aspect of the pollination. It's true that there are now fewer honey bees in my neighborhood, but there are both wild bees and a lot of wasps. And, anyway, I thought corn was primarily or entirely wind pollinated.

Any insights or guesses?


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