Rural New Yorker, Volume 38: 534 (Aug 23, 1879)
State Agricultural College,
Fort Collins, Colorado,

BY the time this article appears in print the many inquiries made through the columns of the RURAL, by those who planted my Prolific Corn, will be answered by its growth. Some weeks since in the RURAL I stated that farmers are too apt to overdo in the matter of fertilizing when they have a small quantity of fine premium seed to test. Some—indeed many —I have no doubt surfeited the premium corn sent out by the RURAL. The huge stalks many write about, come from the injudicious application of manures that contain too much stalk food. Alluvial soils, too, almost always make too large a growth of stover and too little grain. A close study of the corn plant, its habits and demands, will soon inform the farmer how to feed, cultivate and select his corn.

I have been improving this corn for nine years and this is the first season it has suckered to any extent. The soil of this locality, being sandy loam, and the climate, make all varieties sucker. More than half my crop became so thick that the sun could hardly penetrate to the soil. You stated some weeks since in answer to a correspondent that I “removed the suckers.” I always do; but never in the way most farmers do. If pulled off when young, they will come again and the operation injures the main stalk. They should never be pulled, but cut off with a spud which can be used at the same time to root-prune. Suckers should be removed after—never before—they form the first joint. My crop of four acres is the most promising I have ever had. It is now tasseling. As many as 12 ears appear on many of the stalks. "Colorado," people say, "is no corn country." Cool nights and short seasons work against its ripening. Last year I planted on March 30, and cut up my crop on August 5 —130 days. This year I planted on May 7, and if no frost comes until October, I shall make my corn a success. Cool nights I fear will retard it too much. Many call to see and wonder at it. I am still improving it. It is my endeavor now to make the shanks on the lower ears shorter and the cob smaller. Many other improvements I see can be made. One suggests another.

Prolific Corn