Knee High By The Fourth Of July? NE Iowa Farmers Need Not Worry
Living in a top corn-growing state like Iowa, you are no stranger to the vast green corn fields in the summers and the empty fields in the winter. Farmers work hard in the spring to grow their corn for fall harvest and one “benchmark” we all have heard about to know we are on the right path is that the corn should be “knee-high by the Fourth of July”.
If you are connected to agriculture in any way, you probably have known that we really want the corn to be taller than that by the Fourth of July. The fact that the corn is taller than our knees by the Fourth actually shows agriculture’s evolution says Josh Michel, Northeast Iowa Extension Agronomist.
Today, Michel says if your corn is knee-high, you are probably behind- which can be the result of late planting or replanting.
Over this past week, as I've been scouting fields and driving around northeast Iowa, thankfully, a lot of our corn is quite a bit higher than knee-high. The last cornfield I was in it was actually up to my waist already- I would say you know, two and a half, three feet. So, we're looking good right now.
Throughout the spring, headlines went through the media about how Iowa farmers are behind with planting, but looking at the crops themselves, Michel says Northeast Iowa is in good shape.
We did manage to still get out in the field in a pretty timely fashion. We were able to accumulate enough growing degree days pretty shortly to basically catch up to where we were in our normal five-year averages.
For the corn that is short right now, there may be a small yield reduction, however, this will be dependent on how much rain we get this summer and early fall, as well as fall temperatures.