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Kentucky farmer's corn pops in the field

By: WKYT
By: WKYT

You expect to find popcorn in the grocery store.. but what about in farm field?

A Hardin County farmer says that some ears of his corn in a field have 'popped' on the stalk. Patrick Preston took photos of his popcorn and sent it to the UK Ag Extension for an explanation.

"The other guys were asking if he had put butter on it and if he sold it that way. They're really giving him a hard time about it," says UK Extension Agent Dr. Chad Lee.

But it doesn't look like you might think.

"The picture that was sent look like a bunch of popped corn, it's yellow. It's not white popcorn looking but corn literally did pop in the field. It was that hot," says Dr. Lee.

Dr. Lee explains that the kernels formed during a time of high heat, then it rained and kernels began filling again.

"It kept filling until it actually ruptured the seed coat and caused it to pop open," says Dr. Lee.

Exploding kernels are very uncommon and something most agriculture agents have never seen before with this kind of corn. The E-town farmer along with many others across the Bluegrass are fighting crop disease and pests. Now that it's time to harvest, farmers are finding that the lack of rain and high heat are causing the corn to suffer. That in the end may cut into their profits.

Dr. Lee says, "We're seeing maybe a 20% drop in corn from what we had last year and very erratic conditions."

At this time in the season, rain is not needed. The corn stalks have to dry in the fields before it's harvested.


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