“Knee-high by the fourth of July” is an ages-old yardstick we tend to think of when we see corn around this time of year. With modern techniques, however, it’s usually waist-high at this time.
However, as you can see in the photo, taken in Courtland Township, the corn height varies right now, from three to over five feet.
According to the Michigan State University Extension’s southwest Michigan crop report dated July 9, field activities continue to be slowed due to rains on June 30 and July 1 and then added to by rains this week. Many fields have standing water over the rows. Significant soil erosion has occurred in some fields causing washouts and covering plants. Some hail damage was reported from the storms on June 30 and July 1.
“This is usually the time of year we want rain, but many sites have had 3 or more inches already in July on top of the six or more inches in June,” reported Ron Goldy with MSU.
Sweet corn grown under row covers should be close to harvest. Early, uncovered plantings are silking.
Other crops, such as early planted summer squash, zucchini and cucumber fields are being removed. Watermelon and cantaloupe fruit is sizing well. Pumpkins are at early bloom. With the continued wet weather, growers need to protect these crops against powdery mildew.