Knee high by the 4th of July…or so the old saying goes. The old “knee high” adage meant that if your corn reached the height of your knee by Independence Day, your crop was on track and you were expected to have a good year. Whether that’s still true or not is up in the air but it seems that in more recent years the corn has been around waist high or better, which is definitely not the case this year.
While this measuring tool is still used by some, the height is hoped for by many as South Dakota and many other Midwest states have been severely dampened by excess rain falls throughout the spring and early summer. Late plantings, poor field conditions and a lack of sunshine have put crop progress behind the previous and five-year averages.
As I stand around six foot tall, my knee measures to be 21 inches high and the corn in the picture above (taken within the Sioux Falls city limits) measured to be about 27 inches, twice the size of the statewide average of 13inches as of June 26th. South Dakota’s corn crop is currently 8 inches behind the five-year average of 21 inches (exactly knee high).
Those growing seasons figured in the five year average have produced four of the top five record corn harvests in South Dakota. Perhaps there is something to the “knee high” saying after all…
Let’s pray for sunshine and drier weather as we near our nation’s birthday giving our corn fields an opportunity to catch up and become the next bumper crop.