Pre-Harvest Corn Field in Northern Maryland

November 28, 2019

LindaH_20191020_152847 (004)

Photographer: Linda Hill 
Summary Authors: Linda Hill; Jim Foster

The pastoral landscape featured above was captured late last month in northern Maryland. Notice that the corn hasn’t been cut. Typically, corn is left in a field to dry because it’s simply too wet to harvest. As it was, the Middle Atlantic states were extremely dry in late summer and early fall, but October was a wet month — approximately 6 inches (150 mm) of rain fell in Baltimore. It’s also expensive to dry corn and other grains, and many small farmers either can’t afford to use drying bins (in which propane is used to heat and dry the harvested kernels), or they may not have adequate storage capacity. So, until the corn sufficiently dries (about 25 percent moisture), it’s left in place. It may look like it’s dying, but from the farmers' perspective, it’s drying. At left, a crimson-colored dogwood and what appears to be a honey locust (gold-colored tree) accent the scene. Photo taken on October 20, 2019.