Monday, February 16, 2015

A review of Taos Blue Corn

Taos Blue on 7/13

On June 16, 2014 I planted Taos Blue.  This is a GRIN corn, PI 476868.  Its from the Taos Pueblo and it's called "Blue Corn".  I can't have a corn called "Blue Corn" because hey, lots of them are blue.

This is a flour corn, and I'm always looking for a good flour corn.
Taos Blue August 14

This is a short season corn and so I knew I had time to plant it before frost.  (Which did not come till December in 2014!)  The soil was dry, I had to irrigate 2-3 times a week to prevent wilting.  There was no residual soil moisture even in the spring, due to the drought.

October 2 Taos Blue


As you can see, there was lodging.  This corn is not very tall and the cobs are not held very far off of the ground.  I harvested this right after I took this photo.  This corn was the least productive in my field.  The Kaanga Pango and the Yellow Papago yielded twice the amount of this corn.

Taos Blue & Fusarium 
Note the starburst pattern on the kernels...Its a fusarium.  Fumonisins are a group of mycotoxins produced by fungi in the genus Fusarium. The fungus Fusarium moniliforme (Fusarium verticillioides) is a common pathogen of corn, so common in fact that it is found wherever corn is grown. Fusarium moniliforme usually appears white to salmon colored, although it may not be visible on the corn kernel. This fungus often produces a symptom on the corn kernels referred to as "starburst," or a white streaking of the kernel.  You can't eat corn with fusarium or feed it to horses.  I guess this one will be chicken food.  As part of their rations, fumonisins don't bother chickens.  

I suspect the very very dry weather, coupled with insect invasions of every known kind are probably responsible for this.  I won't be doing any more summer planting of corn.  This year the plan is to plant all four corns of the season as early as possible.   I'm keeping an eye on the soil temperature.  If it continues to warm,  I may plant in March!  


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