How Does Your Corn Measure Up on the Fourth?

How Does Your Corn Measure Up on the Fourth?

Old moniker not so funny for some this year.

'Knee high by the Fourth of July'- and it will make corn. This old-time saying from days gone by was almost out-of-date when I was 10 years old, back in 1963. Even by then farmers were planting early enough and hybrids were bred to faster starts so that corn was way past that state. Maybe it wasn't always tasseling, but it was often nearing that point.

This year the old saying may apply to a few fields. Unfortunately, one of the wettest springs on record means a few people still have corn that isn't much above knee-high, depending upon whose knee you use to measure it. Some corn had to be replanted in wet spots late last month; others were just late-planted in the beginning. Some won't ever get planted- primarily river bottoms. If they didn't get dry enough for soybeans, they may be prevented planting acreages. 

A quick survey of farmers around the state reveals that almost everyone is in the same situation. Most corn will likely tassel soon. A few, and it's very few, fields that people snuck in early during a brief window actually tasseled a week ago. But there are still those fields of smaller corn almost everywhere.

The only place where this isn't quite as critical is in the Tippecanoe County area and up the northwest corridor of the state at least part way. They got an open planting window in mid-May about a week to 10 days before most of the rest of the state. If there is corn close to on schedule, besides the scattered fields here and there as noted above, it's in Tippecanoe County and counties to the north and west.

What's still bothering people in parts of the state where there is lots of river bottom, such as southwest Indiana, is flooding. It's affected some fields that were already planted, and kept other fields form being planted at all. And even in the Tippecanoe-Benton-White-Newton County area where crops went in somewhat earlier than elsewhere, heavy rains the last of May and first of June have left holes in fields, drowned by too much water.

If you've got a good field of corn, consider yourself lucky- and there are some around. But there are many where to much water and saturated soils are producing what could be an average crop at best. And in a few isolated fields, there won't be any crop at all.

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