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DELAY IN CORN HARVEST BLAMED ON FREEZES

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The same freezing temperatures that killed off much of Utah's fruit crop this year delivered a hammer blow to the state's sweet corn and silage and grain corn.

Harvests may not be far behind last year's figures, but they will be late this year, according to agriculture experts - by anywhere from one to two weeks. Ordinarily, the earliest sweet corn is harvested about July 10 in Utah, but it may not be ready until July 24 or later.The old adage about corn being knee-high by the Fourth of July isn't generally true anymore because of modern farming methods. Corn in many parts of the nation, especially in Iowa and Illinois, is often shoulder-high or higher by July 4.

But sweet corn through much of Utah is hardly higher this week than a man's knee, and few fields are waist-high.

Utah State University Extension agent Shawn Olsen, in Farmington, said temperatures got down to 25 to 27 degrees on several days earlier this year, and those who had planted early got a bad surprise.

"Some farmers had their corn in so early it was a foot high when the frost came, and the cold knocked the corn down to the ground," Olsen said.

"The plant's growth is just above the soil, so any hardy plants recovered, but they lost the advantage of being planted early and had to start their growth over.

"Farmers who replanted their cornfields after the freeze will have even later harvests this year," Olsen said.