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Corn crop seems to have weathered stormy spring

Plants surpassed ‘knee high by 4th of July' benchmark

JANESVILLE, Wis. - In Rock County, corn crops seem to have weathered the stormy spring.

Farmers say the plants surpassed the "knee high by the 4th of July" benchmark.

"We're 100 percent better this year. Everything is looking really good," said third-generation farmer Chris Gunn.

With the challenging spring, farmers didn't get into the field for planting until later than usual and then got hit with a heavy downpour.

Gunn said area crops should yield a greater harvest than last year.

"You don't have to go too far East or South, their corn isn't looking very good. A lot of acres didn't get planted because it was so wet. Rock County is a really good pocket where we're at, we're sitting pretty good and everybody's crops are coming along," said Gunn.

Gunn farms about 3,000 acres of crops on his family's farm, O'Leary Gunn Farms west of Janesville.

Gunn says the hybrid corn they grow now is usually at least hip or shoulder high by this time of year so height is less of a concern; they're looking to see if the ears of corn are filled out.

In addition to soybeans, they grow field corn for feed or ethanol, and sweet corn.

Gunn said they installed an irrigation system last spring but it could only do so much to save their crops from drought.

"Last year we could go in and pick 300 acres a day because there was nothing there to pick and you could fly through the field. This year it will take a lot longer and that's a good thing because at least we have a crop to pick," said Gunn.

Corn needs moisture to help produce a fruitful crop and Gunn said for their field corn, the next couple of months are crucial.

Gunn said when the corn starts to tassel and make ears is they'll need the most amount of moisture.

"An inch a week from here on out would be absolutely perfect for a bumper crop, and we're headed that way so we'll keep our fingers crossed," said Gunn.

Even though some farmland in other states is still underwater, Gunn said it's hard to predict if we'll see higher prices at the grocery store

O'Leary Gunn Farms typically sells their sweet corn on Arch and West Court streets in Janesville, and if Mother Nature cooperates they should be ready to harvest in the next couple of weeks.

Plants surpassed ‘knee high by 4th of July' benchmark

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