Will Corn Hit “Knee High” by the Fourth of July?

Everyone’s heard the old adage about corn: knee high by the Fourth of July. However, in a typical year, farmers can expect to be tasseling or near tassel by Independence Day—what’s changed?

The long and short of it boils down to better genetics, earlier planting and improved management. When the adage was first coined, knee high was a sign of a good crop but changes in technology and practices mean knee high on the Fourth of July is a sign of trouble.

“There are noticeable differences in the way the crop grows,” according to an article by Crop Insurance Solutions. “Farmers can plant earlier because of tougher breeds and new kinds of seeds. Earlier planting means taller corn on July 4th.”

Unfortunately, this year will show many fields not achieving even knee-high status this Independence Day. Wet weather continues to plague the Midwest.

However, some farmers were able to get in early, with crops reaching higher into the sky.

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