GOOD NEWS - Knee High By The 4th Of July

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

The adage goes, “knee high by the fourth of July,” but do farmers still believe that?

It’s mid-summer, and farmers across the nation are looking at their crops, especially corn, to see how they are doing in the grand scheme of things.

Is “knee high” still relevant as a gauge of success?


This adage became universally known because of Rogers and Hammerstein’s 1943 box office hit musical Oklahoma! The song “Oh What A Beautiful Morning” in the musical updated the adage to ‘as high as an elephant’s eye.’

Years ago, the reference to knee-high corn in early July was thought to indicate bumper crops or high yields for the year.

Present day, with the significant advances in agricultural technology, genetics, and overall improved plant health, today’s farmers can expect corn to grow much higher than “knee-high” come Independence Day.

Modern-day farmers can expect corn stalks to be at least eight feet high, if not higher.

The modern turn of phrase is “as high as an elephant’s eye.”

Over the weekend, a tour of local corn crops proved the corn is growing tall in Clay County.

Along a roadway in the northeast corner of Clay County, tall corn was noticed doing another important job: helping provide cool shade to wildlife as the temperatures soared after a rainfall.

While snapping pictures, two deer emerged from one field and walked across the country road to another during an afternoon stroll. They then emerged from the field again close to a wooded area, and one stopped to pose for the camera before going into the woods.

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