Prevented planting compensates farmers when they're unable to plant an insured crop due to weather. The Risk Management Agency set prevented planting for corn at 60 percent of the producer's guarantee. Credit: Danielle Sheppard/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

The old term , “Knee high by Fourth of July” was used as a marker to gauge the success of the year’s corn crops, meaning that if the height of a corn stalk had reached a person’s knees by July 4 the crop would produce a lot of corn.

Wet conditions this year have prevented many farmers from getting seed in the ground around the time they would typically otherwise, so the measure may not work this year. Still, America is producing more corn than ever, according to an Investigate Midwest analysis of federal agriculture data.

While the number of corn acres planted between 1970 and 2020 have increased about 35%, the amount of corn grown has more than doubled.

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