Saturday, November 16, 2013
Carrying Capasity - More on Corn
I been looking back at corn yields from pre-GMO and liquid fertilizer times and my 20 bushels per-acre number isn't as appalling as I first thought.
If you are going to look at corn history one of the best places to go is of course Iowa. Those boys up there know their corn. Northern Missouri usually kicks out the corn at about the same yields per acre as Iowa with close to the same type of climate and soil composition and since the Small-Hold is just a bit further South I would expect slightly less yields overall.
Until the 1940's yields never broke past the 40 bushels per acre mark, usually hovering in the upper 30's and yet by the 1970's they were breaking 100 bushels per acre.
That is some scary stuff if you stop and think about it. Or at least contemplate the ramifications of just what a collapse would bring to food production overall.
I also did a rather loose and informal poll with some of the local farmers or at least the old retired ones that hang out at the convenience store and love to talk. These guys are my best old time information specialist ever.
Almost without exception they said corn would be the go to crop in a grid down situation. The number one reason was for ease of harvest more than anything else. An aspect I hadn't really considered until they pointed out how much easier corn is to harvest than say wheat or other grains. Several others mentioned rotations into pasturage and plantings of pumpkins and other gourd/melon crops from time to time as well.
The attitude I got was that basically Corn was King where ever it could be grown but that allowing fields to go fallow was also important.
They also mentioned that average yields tend to trend upwards the larger the field get which kinda makes sense as well.
In the end I might be able to use my 20 bushels per acre figure as a good starting point with a margin for error.
Certainly some interesting points to think about.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!