Author Topic: Flint/Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley  (Read 11142 times)

reed

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Re: Flint/Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #75 on: 2019-11-23, 02:50:52 AM »
I finally got around to shelling off my corn seed for next year. I messed up and lost my pictures but I'm pretty pleased with my crop. It isn't huge but I have plenty of the desired F1s to continue  next year. As usual because of danger of critters I harvested earlier than I would ideally like. Seeds are all viable but I think for maximum yield and seed longevity it's really better if it can dry completely on the stalk.

Actually though I think what I ended up with is a good selection criteria. Since I'm after fast maturity and dry down I picked out those ears that had more fully sized kernels over those that didn't. More variation there than one might expect within each variety.

Cascade Ruby Gold was most mature and it was fastest to bloom, almost missing the opportunity for pollination from the others. Even though I planted it a week or so later. I ended up with just five ears of it, pollinated by the Zapalote Chico. Got nice selection of pericarp color in them which is a goal. Endosperm color is varied, I didn't expect that but I'm fine with it.

I have three very nice ears of the chinmark flint also pollinated by ZC. They all came out chinmark and with mostly white endosperm. A few kernels have some aleurone color. I'll just have to select that out in coming seasons a I very much like this corn. It came out very flinty despite the floury pollen parent. I love the purple stalks and deep purple cobs. Mated with the purple husks and stalks of ZC this trait should carry well into future generations. Two ears are 8 row and I like that.

Bronze Beauty stood out beautifully and I selected six ears of it. They also were pollinated by the ZC and also came out more flinty. Each of the six is a different pericarp color. Plants had nice strong stalks and excellent tip cover. Secondary ears formed well in crowded and drought conditions. Two of these ears are also 8 row.

There is a lot of variation in the Oxbow Farm yellow flint, and I picked nine ears of it again pollinated by the ZC.

On the crossed ZC itself I chose just five ears. It had way more variation in maturity than expected but I think these five are fine for the project since they were the five most mature. These were detasseled and crossed to all the flints. ZC pollen for the other crosses came from a different isolated patch so genetics of about 100 other ZC plants are in the mix.

So all of those ears are F1 crosses of the flints and the ZC. Varied pericarp color is well represented. More or less flinty endopserm is present so I can just pick out flinty kernels to plant and keep that up for a few seasons. Strong stalks, multiple ears per and 8 to 12 rows is well represented.

I think next year I can drop the hassle of detasseling and hand pollinating and just let it do what what it wants. It's mixed up enough that I can be pretty selective for awhile, picking just a few ears per season to concentrate the traits.

I want to make sure to keep the maternal line of the ZC in case there is anything cytoplasmic about the maysin production until the worms show me what to cull and keep regarding that.

I have option now too, to go either with white or yellow endosperm, or maybe pursue two different lines. Keep a white endosperm variety just cause I like the look of it better and a high carotene line too.

And the weather freaked me out this year. I don't what to grow several distinctly different types of corn but hate to just discard the massive collection of sweet and flour types I collected last few years. Maybe grow a selection of it in another patch along with some of the flint just to preserve it for now? Will have to think on that some.
« Last Edit: 2019-11-23, 02:56:02 AM by reed »

reed

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Re: Flint/Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #76 on: 2020-07-05, 03:34:20 PM »
Haven't reported in on this project for a long time. It's still going on but not much exciting to talk about yet this season. Crop is in the back garden and being watered once in a while, looks pretty good.

One interesting thing and I have no clue as to it's implications. I planted all F1 seed of crosses from last year, all with Zapalote Chico as one side of the cross. The F1 seed where ZC is mother sprouted near 100%

But F1 of the same cross in the other direction, ZC as father only sprouted about 50%, maybe a little less. I ended up transplanting a lot of those to compact the patch into a smaller space and for better pollination.

I figure for now that IF only some in last years mixes were receptive to making viable seeds from ZC pollen, THEN they are the ones that spouted and are fine to continue mixing back in again.

In any event what ever caused it, assuming it wasn't just a fluke is probably beyond my ability to determine so I'm not gonna worry about it.


reed

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Re: Flint/Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #77 on: 2020-09-21, 08:19:02 AM »
I've harvested my crop and pretty happy with the results. I've already culled a bunch of it for various reasons, primarily if it was attacked by the fall ear worms, over half of it was so the worm resistance from the Zapalote Chico did not come through in all plants. I'm fairly confident those that didn't have worm damage are resistant because all ears of a late planted sweet patch were attacked and all other growers in the area are complaining about the worms.

I am surprised to see a lot of nicely flinty kernels. Flint is what I'm after in the long run but didn't expect to see it in the F2 since ZC is more of a flour/dent type. There is plenty of the flour/dent left as well but I'm not culling those just yet, especially if the worm resistance and nice color in the pericarp is present.

The short, fat, conical ears of ZC are so very different from the longer ears of of a lot of the others I didn't know what to expect. I was afraid maybe I'd have ears that overshot the husks but none like that showed up. There are fat conical ears like ZC but much larger and they hade great tip cover and lots of those flag shucks. I don't think the flag shucks really serve much purpose but they are cool looking.

I have some fantastic ears, just three of them but I'm excited. They have just 8 or 10 rows of very large kernels and nice colors. Small row number and big kernels is a goal and again was surprised to see it in the F2. One the other hand there are also some with up to 20 rows, they also are not being culled as they are nice in other ways.

A problem is a little bit of aleurone color showed up. I don't want aleurone color and I don't know how it is inherited or if it is dominate or recessive. One of my favorite ears is a pretty pink color and has just 8 rows of the big kernels. I think the pink may have come from the traces of that color in the ZC mixed up with Cascade Ruby Gold or Bronze Beauty. Problem is that ear has single purple kernel. If that purple aleurone is dominate I can just cull that kernel but if it's recessive the whole ear is suspect.

All together I have culled down to just fifty ears that meet up with some or most of the traits I want. Among them are five or so that have a kernel or two with the aleurone color contamination.  Does anyone know how that is inherited and how hard it will be to select it out later?
« Last Edit: 2020-09-21, 08:23:31 AM by reed »