Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Knee High by the 4th of July

The 4th of July is a great time to celebrate our country's independence, show off your patriotism, spend time with family and friends, shoot off fireworks and check crops. It's been tradition for decades that farmers check their crops, especially corn, to see if it is "Knee High by the 4th of July." Now while knee high isn't the benchmark for farmers anymore due to hybridization and improved genetics, it is still a fun tradition for our family to benchmark our corn (and family's) growth every year. In fact, our family has been taking an annual "Knee High" photo for over a decade (see 2022202120202019201820172016201520142013 and 2012).

Knee High by the 4th of July - North Iowa Corn

This year's planting season was probably as ideal as we could have asked for this year. We were able to get started after Easter in mid-April and the weather seemed to always work out nicely where we'd get in five good, full days of work out in the field, followed by some rain that would let us rest and repair for a couple days before doing it all over again the next week. And, we finished planting the earliest in our farming career to date; we finished before Mother's Day on May 8th! Since wrapping up planting, we have had a dry spell but have been thankful for rains here and there before any drought caused too much damage.

So now, come 4th of July, we have the tallest corn since we started documenting our annual "Knee High" picture and the corn is the farthest in its development yet! Check out how big the ears of corn are already. Usually they're about an inch long. And we even started seeing some tassels showing!

Knee High by the 4th of July - North Iowa Corn

We hope you all have a great Independence Day! What are some of your favorite 4th of July traditions?

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