South Dakota Corn Struggles to Reach Independence Day Heights
MADISON, SD—Knee-high by the 4th of July used to be a joke between farmers for lowest height they want their corn to be.
But, those laughs quickly turned into reality this year.
“We’d never be knee-high, we always been waist high,” said Justine Minnaert, Madison farmer. “Even last year the corn was a few inches above my head.”
The height of Minnaert was above his shoulder.
But, now only 5% of his corn is above his knee’s.
“I even heard some of the older generation talking about back in like 83 or 84 they thought that’d be a once in a lifetime thing. I guess this is my once in a lifetime event I hope,” said Minnaert.
This year has been more than difficult for Minnaert.
“It’s probably been the most frustrating I had in trying to crops in and dealing with cattle,” said Minnaert. “Normally in a typical year, you might get a wet spring then you would have a nice summer and a nice fall. But this year it was a wet spring, wet summer and in the fall we’re going to have a surplus of water because of all the moisture we had.
The July 1st USDA crop updates show that only 50 percent of corn in South Dakota is in good conditions.
In order to get those conditions to rise to excellent, Minnaert says it going to have to come from Mr. Sun-Shine.
“Just a lot of hot weather,” said Minnaert. “I know we don’t like and would rather be sitting out in the air conditioning but what weather will help us out greatly.
Minneart expects to harvest his crops in October but only if mother nature will let him.
According to the USDA, the corn weather is getting better; last week five out of the seven days were considered suitable for fieldwork.