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After abysmal start to planting season, corn on track to be 'knee-high by the Fourth of July'

The MN Department of Agriculture reports 64% of corn condition across the state is either good or excellent.

CHANHASSEN, Minn. — It was only about a month ago that abnormally wet weather was pushing the planting season to the brink.

Some farmers then even started to worry if they'd grow any crops at all. 

"A lot of farming is about timing," said longtime farmer Gayle Degler. "When you get the moisture, and now we get longer days, that’s when stuff is really growing."

His farm fields in Chanhassen are finally full of soybeans, alfalfa and corn.  

"If the corn is knee-high, it's probably going to be a decent crop," said Degler. 

The start to the planting season was abnormally wet and included cooler temperatures that set a lot of farmers back.

"This dry June has been a bit of a blessing," said Peter Boulay, assistant state climatologist. "It's been warm so the crops that are behind have gotten a chance to catch up."

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture reports 64% of corn is either good or excellent and soybeans are sitting at 61%.

"That's really what those farmers need are those plants to tap into that ground moisture and we have plenty out there right now, so that's why things are looking really good," said Boulay, whose office found the state is nearly four inches wetter than this time last year.

That's when much of Minnesota was in the midst of a bad drought.

"Everything grows when you have moisture and heat," said Degler.

Moisture and heat are two pieces that are critical to the farming puzzle, especially as the corn will soon start to pollinate and fill out the kernels.

"We are lush and green out there right now and I hope it stays that way," said Boulay. 

He and Degler are hopeful the changing weather pattern will cement a planting season that will end better than it started. However, they also know, despite the recent good news, there is still a long growing season left with a lot of what-ifs. 

Degler says if all continues to go to plan, he might start harvesting by the end of September, which is right on track.

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