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Corn and rain???  RSS feed

 
andrew curr
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Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
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Does the huge corn /soy monoculture in the midwest effect rainfall?
Just thintin that young corn transpires a lot and transpiration sometimes contributes to rainfall
The valley where i am has been converting to a corn/ soy / lotfeed for a while now and i suspect we have trouble getting rain till the corn is a foot high!
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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You may be onto something there. Areas that are green (as observed from satellites) transpire more water and are correlated with higher rainfall than neighboring areas that are cleared (like bare ground or open desert or logged and cleared). It's difficult science to do, because you need area-wide data, and the ways we have of measuring precipitation is with rain gauges at point locations. Plus the air is always in movement so that the area of higher precipitation may shift downwind from directly above the area with the most greenery.
 
Brett Andrzejewski
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Location: Buffalo, NY
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A simple question with probably a very complex answer. I have read second hand reports from scientific articles on climate change in Australia being very dramatic. In addition to oscillations in jet stream, ocean temperature oscillations, loss of forest in other parts of Australia, increasing temperatures in Antarctica and Australia. Yes, corn and the first couple months of lack of perennial ground cover probably does make a difference. Perhaps the question is "how big a factor does the corn play in your microclimate with regard to the changing macroclimate?"

 
andrew curr
Posts: 288
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
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I have 1/2 acre of corn beans and punks !---- i was just thinning out the earliest planted stuff and noticed it had harvested last nights heavy dew!----- pretty cool
It is a share crop with two old gardiners who are concerned about food security!
we have great soil moisture so far but two more hot dry weeks and it may get a bit tough does corn like mulch?
 
Alder Burns
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Location: northern California
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To look at transpiration one must compare the crops in question with what they are replacing. In the case of the Midwest of the USA, the corn and soy are replacing forest, and tallgrass prairie. Both of these ecosystems have longer growing seasons and greater total leaf area than the crops, and so probably total transpiration for the year is less with the crops. In areas with extensive irrigation schemes, such as the Central Valley of CA where I now live, the issue is probably reversed, but there doesn't seem to have been any significant increase in local rainfall. I did read a research paper which said this extra moisture is carried by winds and leads to increased rainfall elsewhere in the Southwest of the US.
 
John Elliott
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andrew curr wrote: does corn like mulch?


You bet it does. That was the reason for planting low spreading squash plants in the "three sisters garden", to act as a living mulch. Throw down a couple of inches of good mulch and your corn will be happy.
 
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