Meet Our Farm Manager
Posted on December 18, 2016
2 minutes read time
As we get closer to completing construction, we thought it was time for you to meet some of the family! This month, meet the guy helping us raise our Bloody Butcher Corn: Tyler Stucker, our Farm Manager!
Tyler grew up on a dairy farm raising holstens, tobacco, wheat, and alfalfa. Since he was fourteen, he has raised corn and soybeans. This was the beginning of his passion for farming and led him to get his Agronomy degree from Eastern Kentucky University this past spring. With a background in soil science, farming, and his many other qualifications, he was a perfect fit!
Tyler’s main job is to grow the corn for our products. The first step in planting the corn is to get all the weeds out of the field. If we planted the corn on top of the weeds, the corn wouldn’t get all of the nutrients it needs to grow.
After the corn is planted and has grown for a few weeks, we place a fertilizer on the corn. Because we are growing a historical corn, we have to be careful about the products we use on it. Over time corn has been bred to withstand the many different chemicals used during the farming process, but our Bloody Butcher Corn does not have this resistance. This year we used Nitrogen to fertilize the crop – just shortly after we dropped it, you could see a six inch jump in the corn’s height. Clearly, the fertilizer is working.
The need for a special fertilizer is not the only challenge with growing this heirloom corn. One of the other challenges we face is how tall the corn gets. Right now the corn is twelve and a half feet tall compared to most corn’s eight-foot maximum height. With this height, the corn ends up with a smaller stalk. With the weaker stalk and the top heavy ears that grow, the corn easily blows over in the August storms. The best way we have found to prevent this is to try and find field with trees as a windbreaker, but this his won’t prevent all the damage.
The corn is also very drought intolerant. This year it has not been a problem with all the rain we have had, but if there is not a steady consistent rainfall the corn will start to become stressed. The leaves turn up and the yield of our corn drops. Aside from the one wind storm, so far this year has been the perfect weather for growing our corn.
Around October, the corn will be ready to harvest. Once we combine the corn, we transfer the corn from the fields to our grain bin using a 1975 International grain truck. Most of the harvest will go to producing Jeptha Creed products, but we will hold some back for seed corn for next year. This way we always know where our corn is coming from. Tyler loves harvest time. To see the fruits of his labor come to fruition makes all the hard work worth it.
The amazing flavors the Bloody Butcher corn gives makes all the work overcoming the challenges worth it. We’re excited that you’ll get to see how special this corn is very soon!