Knee-high by the 4th of July? Why farmers are glad that’s not accurate

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 6:12 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2022 at 10:20 AM CDT
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SCOTT COUNTY, Iowa (KWQC) - ‘Knee-high by the 4th of July’ is an old saying that’s been surpassed this year in the cornfields. The corn at Scott County farmer Robb Ewoldt’s farm was about four feet tall on Wednesday.

Ewoldt planted his field on May 8.

“In four days it was through the ground. In years past, we thought we had pretty good planting conditions but it turned out colder and it took two and a half weeks for the corn to come through the ground. So, we are really not behind at all in our growth,” said Ewoldt.

‘Knee-high by the 4th of July’ may have been an accurate prediction of a good yield back in the 1970′s, but Ewoldt says with modern technology, it should be knee-high by early to mid-June.

Ewoldt says even though he planted a little bit late this year, thanks to a great crop season, his corn is well on its way to being taller than most people by the 4th of July.

“By the time we get to the 4th of July, we will be head-high, and probably about ten to fourteen days after that, we will be starting to see tassels or flag leaves as we call them, for pollination. We are right on track for our growth. This year is looking to be pretty darn good. I know there are some predictions for some drought in the western part of the state. How far east it comes, or if it materializes, that’s a concern that we have right now but we can’t do anything about it so there’s really no reason to worry,” Ewoldt said.

The average corn price for this season is estimated at $5.95 per bushel and is projected at $6.75 for 2022/23 according to the USDA.

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