the plant will yield 30 percent less grain. Once the head has fully emerged from the stalk it will enlarge and open up the location of future kernels. In each of these locations a flower is located with both the stamen to produce pollen and the pistil to receive it. Pollination is achieved by wind blowing pollen from one grain head to another. Barley, wheat, and rye plants then begin the process of developing all the kernels on their heads, which takes about six weeks. Through this process the plants will mature from a vibrant green color to a bright yellow or amber color. Before being harvested and stored, the kernels will need to dry down to 13 percent moisture. When possible it is common for farmers to plant another crop, such as soybeans, in the harvested fields so that they may grow in those fields for the remainder of the summer. This allows farmers to harvest two crops from one field in a single calendar year. Throughout the plantâ€™s lifecycle farmers will work to help it produce as much high quality grain as possible. These efforts begin before the seed is planted and continue after it has been harvested. Before the seed is planted fertilizer is placed where the plant will use it most efficiently and the soil will be prepared to help the seed germinate quickly. While the plant is growing, the objective is to eliminate competition from weeds and minimize diseases from damaging the plant or its grains. Weeds are eliminated by mechanical processes or by applying herbicides. Minimizing diseases is accomplished by spraying the plants with fungicides so that diseases never enter where they could diminish the plant or grain quality. Herbicides and fungicides are only applied by licensed professionals following strict EPA guidelines. After harvest the grain is stored in cool dry conditions so that the quality does not diminish. There are many different variations of how corn, barley, wheat, and rye plants are grown. In northern areas it is common for barley, wheat, and rye to be planted in the spring and harvested later that year. The amount of time that plants take to mature will be affected by how much energy they receive from the sun. There are also many different varieties of each type of grain. The most common varieties from all of these grains have been chosen and bred to produce an abundance of the kind of kernels that the markets demand. The other varieties of these grains have a specific useâ€”for example popcorn is produced to be used in a specialized way. Any of these variations of the grains can be used to produce excellent spirits. The distiller will have to decide which one is best suited for what they are attempting to produce, and what best represents the spirit of their business.
Brett Glick is a farmer and business owner from Columbus, Indiana. He and his brother, Trevor, operate their family farm. They also own and operate their private seed company, L&M Glick Seed, which sells corn, soybean, and wheat seed directly to customers and to the wholesale market WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM â€
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