Knee High by the Fourth of July?
There is an adage used by corn farmers near and far to measure the success of their crops come Independence Day. Years ago, knee-high corn in early July was thought to indicate high yields for the year. Knee-high corn stalks in early July signal can signal trouble to farmers. However, advances in hybrid technology and other advancements has led to the expectation of much taller corn stalks by early July, sometimes as high as chest high.
The very cool and wet start to the 2019 growing season has brought that old adage back as many corn growers across the nation will not see their corn stalks very high by this Fourth of July. While some progress in crop development has been made in the past two weeks, many farmers will need every day of the remaining growing season to get their crops to maturity.
An early frost/freeze this fall could have big impacts on yields this growing season. Commodity prices have responded in recent weeks due to this concern.
While everyone wants moisture and no concerns for drought, the very wet soil moisture profiles have acted like an air conditioner, keeping temperatures from warming up too fast.
The graphic below shows current soil moisture conditions across the USA. Notice all the green areas (above normal soil moisture).