6′ High By The 4th Of July 07 Jul 12

“Knee High By The Fourth Of July” used to be a common saying that helped people gauge how the corn crop was doing. But these days, it’s a poor corn crop that isn’t way past that point. The majority of the corn in southern Minnesota was nearly 6-feet tall by the 4th of July this year. That says a lot about how plant breeders have improved corn genetics after more than a century of effort. Modern corn can flourish in conditions that might have stunted the plant in the past. And that toughness allows farmers to get it in the ground earlier each spring, giving it a lot more time to shoot up. Some sweet corn has already been harvested in southern Minnesota even!