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  #1  
Old 08-14-2016, 06:26 PM
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Hey Bot

If you were going to save seed on a heritage corn would you let it dry all the way on the stalk or pick it at maturity and dry it off the stalk. Would either way make any difference?
I usually just let it dry on the stalk but this year I'm worried about mildew. Mildew, in AZ !!

Thinking about pulling the whole stalk up and hanging them in the barn in front of the big fans.

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  #2  
Old 08-15-2016, 11:54 AM
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"Corn?", Yeah sure, "corn".

Legal marijuana heading for Arizona vote | 12NEWS.com

Unless you like lots of bugs I wouldn't hang it in the barn. Grow it to maturity, let it brown, pluck it, shuck it, store it in a covered open air crib until dry, shell it and store it. Same as always.

No advantage to pulling it prematurely and in fact you would be encouraging mildew due to the higher moisture content in the kernels.
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  #3  
Old 08-16-2016, 01:07 AM
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First off, bot might be either under water or treading water right now, or saving others ... or some such

Second, and far more important than if bot is hanging on a tree for dear life in flood waters or not ... I posed a similar question and he went all Meh on it

But please, when bot gets all de-watered and what not, do not go PM - post it here so I can figure out the best way to propagate my corn -- coons be damned!!
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike D View Post
"Corn?", Yeah sure, "corn".

Legal marijuana heading for Arizona vote | 12NEWS.com

Unless you like lots of bugs I wouldn't hang it in the barn. Grow it to maturity, let it brown, pluck it, shuck it, store it in a covered open air crib until dry, shell it and store it. Same as always.

No advantage to pulling it prematurely and in fact you would be encouraging mildew due to the higher moisture content in the kernels.
It's really corn. Zea Mays sp. I get all the Mota I want growing wild down along the creek. We've had 5 inches of rain in the last month and worse than that humidity is crazy high. I'm going to grab it at the last minute before it mildews and lay it out on racks in front of a fan. No bugs in the barn....
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  #5  
Old 08-28-2016, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elchivito View Post
If you were going to save seed on a heritage corn would you let it dry all the way on the stalk or pick it at maturity and dry it off the stalk. Would either way make any difference?
I usually just let it dry on the stalk but this year I'm worried about mildew. Mildew, in AZ !!

Thinking about pulling the whole stalk up and hanging them in the barn in front of the big fans.
Just noticed this thread. FYI, there's a sub discipline of agronomy & botany called seed technology, in which heritage seed storage is a sub discipline. I don't know much about it, but that's where I'd look. Try a major land grant university. Also either Sweden or Norway has a very intensive seed storage program.

So here's what I think, unadorned by any actual knowledge.

Pick early, (but after sugars go to starch). This is to prevent diseases and bugs from getting a foothold on whole ears. Remove husk & silk but leave on cob. Air dry to constant weight. Remove seeds from ear. Remove any seed that show any blemish at all. In other words, don't save any potential pathogens. Don't wash them! Gently rub them clean of all debris

Check again for air-dried constant weight of seeds. I would not seal them air-tight. Instead, fold them into manila envelopes to allow seeds to breath. Store them in cool, constant temperature at low (and constant) humidity.

Some seeds can be frozen and some not. I don't know about corn.

I have noticed that my hybrid corn held-over for a few years lost germination rate and vitality. At a guess I would say I lost 5%-10% viability over 5 or six years. Maybe the same for vitality of the adult plants. It wasn't a deliberate study, it was a blundering oversight.
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Old 08-28-2016, 03:56 PM
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Thanks! The corn's coming in now. This was from older seed. Germination was reduced this year, I had to replant close to 20%. I'm picking out some of the best ears for seed. We've had 10 days of hard rain and I'm worried about mildew so am going to pick early and dry in the barn with the husks off. When it stops raining the sun comes out and it's near 100, perfect mildew setup...
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2016, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elchivito View Post
Thanks! The corn's coming in now. This was from older seed. Germination was reduced this year, I had to replant close to 20%. I'm picking out some of the best ears for seed. We've had 10 days of hard rain and I'm worried about mildew so am going to pick early and dry in the barn with the husks off. When it stops raining the sun comes out and it's near 100, perfect mildew setup...
Sounds like you're getting Western PA weather patterns.
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  #8  
Old 09-02-2016, 10:13 AM
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Speaking of replanting seed, I read a suggestion on how to select seed from a dust bowl era SCS pub. It sounded so reasonable that I can't help but assume it is still relevant.

Essentially, you take the 10 best fruits (corn cob, legume pod, etc) from each row.

Mix all of the fruits together. Take the 10 best fruits.

Pull seeds from the 10 best. Remove all of the seeds that are obviously inferior (bugs, fungi, incomplete fertilization, etc). Carefully select the best seeds. Store them for replanting.

Of course, you scale it to the amount of seed you want for replanting so you might pull more (or less) fruits/row as selection for seeds.

Anyway, that's the gist of it. This is long term selection. So every season you increase seed adapted to your farm and climate. It's been a long time since I had a population genetics course (hell, 35 years!), but I believe there are some predictive equations for gene selection.

Not Mendelian, but Mendel can be defined as a special case. If you like math then it might be fun to look into it and see how your plan measures up to theory. Not my interest!
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  #9  
Old 09-02-2016, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Just noticed this thread. FYI, there's a sub discipline of agronomy & botany called seed technology, in which heritage seed storage is a sub discipline. I don't know much about it, but that's where I'd look. Try a major land grant university. Also either Sweden or Norway has a very intensive seed storage program.

So here's what I think, unadorned by any actual knowledge.

Pick early, (but after sugars go to starch). This is to prevent diseases and bugs from getting a foothold on whole ears. Remove husk & silk but leave on cob. Air dry to constant weight. Remove seeds from ear. Remove any seed that show any blemish at all. In other words, don't save any potential pathogens. Don't wash them! Gently rub them clean of all debris

Check again for air-dried constant weight of seeds. I would not seal them air-tight. Instead, fold them into manila envelopes to allow seeds to breath. Store them in cool, constant temperature at low (and constant) humidity.

Some seeds can be frozen and some not. I don't know about corn.

I have noticed that my hybrid corn held-over for a few years lost germination rate and vitality. At a guess I would say I lost 5%-10% viability over 5 or six years. Maybe the same for vitality of the adult plants. It wasn't a deliberate study, it was a blundering oversight.
I have two projects for which your advice could be helpful.

1. I am told that you cannot use the seeds from soybean plants because Monsanto owns the patent on them. Is it possible to get non-Monsanto seeds for soybeans? This is for a future biodiesel project.

2. Chinese tallow, which is a tree/bush which grows wild in many places and is a very good source of oil for diesels, is considered a nuisance bush. Ergo no one has patented seeds for it. If I grew these and propagated them, I could either then patent them and offer free use like a GNU license, i.e. no one would be able to force others to pay for what nature provided for free.
But I have a lot of trouble finding info on this topic. Any help would be appreciated.

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