Saturday, July 5, 2008

Knee High by the Fourth of July


We spare no expense in time or effort here "At Home" to bring you the latest news from the American Heartland.

The old saying in regards to the corn crop is that it should be "knee high by the Fourth of July". It seems that the perfect storm of conditions has caused a growth spurt in the corn.

I stopped on my way home from the herb farm this morning and snapped this photo. I set the timer, quickly positioned the camera on the trunk of my car (a makeshift tripod) and ran into the field. I probably look a bit flustered because I was struggling to get on my mark before the director shouted "action".

As you can see the corn is past the knee high mark. Perhaps this will be one of those crazy years where the corn grows to bizarre heights.

My friend Rena was visiting from Oklahoma the year the corn reached 10 feet tall. Both sides of Swanberg road were planted in corn and the effect was a massive green gauntlet with the road running down the center and the corn threatening to devour the car as it passed through. It was a bit spooky even for me. But for Rena it was totally unnerving. Shortly after our trip through the green tunnel she announced that she was leaving a day early and heading back to Oklahoma.

"That corn is scary! And it's too green around here for me," she explained.

"That's OK, I understand."

I'll keep you updated on the growth of the corn. We probably going to go back out and watch it grow either this week or next.

NOTE: The majority of the corn grown in Illinois is field corn, otherwise known as DENT CORN. It's not the sweet corn that is served on your dinner table but grain that is used in the production of other food and assorted products.


Simple Answer said...

Does it make a difference in the sweetness of the corn if it has grown sooo fast?

Mary said...

On the news, we have been hearing so much about the corn crop this year -- how it will not be a good one because of the floods, etc. I take it your part of the world is not included in that?

Neat pic!

Judy said...

We aim for 'knee high by the first of July' around here (how can you tell I'm Canadian?)...and much of it has not hit that mark this year! We planted an early hopefully it will still mature, despite our cold and wet spring.

Heidi said...

Our corn looks good, but not THAT good. I bet they used liquid nitrogen on it - thats stuff makes it grow so fast that you can dang near watch it happen LOL I know in southern Wi - its bad - real bad. Corn in the northern part of our state is much better - we have had ample rain until the last 2 weeks and now we are in need of it.

Suzanne said...

SA - This is field corn, otherwise known as dent corn. It's not the sweet corn that you'll find on the table. This is used to make other products including corn syrup, corn starch, corn chips, etc.

Mary - Seventeen HUGE grain silos in Cedar Rapids, Iowa were involved in the flood. I believe they were owned by Quaker Oats. The corn in the silos is ruined.....57 semi trailer load for each silo. Do the math. That's a lot of ruined grain. There are also thousands of acres of flooded fields. Yes, it will have an effect on the cost of our food, coupled with the fuel costs to process it and get it to market.

Thanks for visiting today. I appreciate it.

- Suzanne

Unknown said...

Maybe we should change the old saying to "neck high by the 4th of July!"

Marie Reed said...

This farm blog is the cream of the crop. Anything ele is just dent corn!

KWolfAK said...

Wow, that would make an awesome corn maze!!

Rue said...

In Virginia the farmers grew Dent corn too. I had no idea there was a difference until I moved there. Corn is corn to someone from CA ;)

I love that picture of you in there! I can't believe it scared your friend. My dad came out to visit one year and it freaked him out because we had so many trees. LOL

Have a great night.
rue :)

Suzanne said...

Bobbi - I was shocked at how much it has grown in the last week.

Marie - You're pretty clever!!!

Kendra - Yes it would. I can't remember how far into the season they cut the mazes. I'll have to do some research.

Rue - Yes my friend was nervous about the trees too. I don't know what that's all about.

- Suzanne

Jill said...

Wow - that's some seriously tall corn. I love how you posed for a photo of it - that's something I would do!

Interesting info about the different kinds of corn. I was going to ask the same question as Simple Answer.

Unknown said...

Do you have much of a problem with people putting their cannabis plots in the cornfields?

My cousins and I discovered these weird weeds, one year, in the cornfield on my Uncle's farm, back in NZ. We were really mystified as to why my Aunt got a bit hysterical and took the cool leaves away from us, when we showed them to her. We were even more mystified as to why they called the police to come and take all the weeds away. They also took away my Uncle's farmhand at the same time.

It wasn't till a number of years later, that I realised it had been a cannabis plot.

That is a really neat photo. I had to laugh at your friends comment about it being too green and being nervous about the trees. She wouldn't do to well in NZ, then :-)

Merisi said...

That is a brilliant image, you are your own best director! :-)))

I grew up with cornfields reaching right down to my parent's vegetable garden. The earth is as flat there as in Illinois, if only for a few miles along the river, and driving to my parent's home also means running a gauntlet between high corn in the summer (quite dangerous, there are curves, and some of those natives there are more daring than safe drivers!). What struck me most about your pictures was that I could have made the same just yesterday, I came back only last night from visiting my mother. And the corn there is at least as high already. I concentrated on photographing the corn flowers along the rape field, and the fields half an hour's drive away, where gentle hills stretch into the horizon.
May you have a wonderful Sunday!

Mamahut said...

Oh that is just too funny. Too green, I didn't know there was such a thing.

Vee said...

Yup, looks as if you're ahead of the game out there!

karey m. said...

oh, man! i'm coming to illinois in, like, six days! corn fields all around...sweet corn for dinner every night!

i can't wait. great photo. thanks so much for it!

Rhea said...

Here in Texas the corn is super high right now also! I made my kids go into a corn field on the side of the road to take pictures with me, and it was over our heads. Very cool

Unknown said...

My husband, also a farmer, said that saying is because they used to not get it planted until late May. I don't think ours in IA is as tall though! But I haven't actually stood in it. :-)

How do we know you're just not very short? ;-)