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Can You Hear the Corn Growing

by Mike Austin

It's been a struggle getting in this years corn crop, but we are making progress. Most of the corn in the state was knee high by the 4th of July and even though that is no longer a key factor in determining what type of production year it is going to be, it's nice to see the crop making some progress. 

Speaking of the week of the 4th., the hot muggy weather during that week did wonders for the crop. The average height is now 2 and 1/2 feet and in the sandier soils its waist high or above. Plus the quality of the crop has improved, with over 60% rated good to excellent. Unfortunately there are pockets here in Northeastern Wisconsin and in parts of Northcentral and Central Wisconsin that are still behind the 8-Ball. But on the whole, the crop looks much better than it did just two weeks ago and that holds true not only here, but throughout most of the corn and soybean belt.  The exception is Iowa where they are reporting almost 15% of the corn crop is rated poor to very poor. As for you sweet corn lovers (and that includes me) most growers say the crop is a little behind, but the growers feel as we stand now, it should be an average to better crop.

We will get a better idea of what the USDA feels about this years crops when they release their revised crop production and price estimate this Thursday. Brad Ripey, the USDA's chief meteorologists does not expect any revisions downward, because of the very cooperative growing conditions most of the corn belt has received over the past few weeks.  Of course the next big test for the crop will be at the end of the month through early August when growers are hopeful conditions will be good for that all important pollination stage of the crop. 

As for Alfalfa, and winter wheat. Most areas are expecting the 2nd crop alfalfa to be better than the first, and the winter wheat is starting to turn in color and many crop consultants says the crop should be pretty good.