Aggregates Help Corn Grow “Knee-High by the Fourth of July”

Monday, July 3rd, 2023


We have all heard the saying “knee-high by the Fourth of July,” but have you ever noticed that crops are always much taller than this by the Fourth? Back in the 1800s, farmers used this phrase to measure their crops of corn to determine if they were on track for a bountiful harvest. Traditionally, knee-high corn promised healthy produce and large yields Now, with modern technology and more research being put into farming, corn stalks reach well above the shoulders by the beginning of July.

Indiana is located in the Midwestern “corn belt” which extends from Illinois to Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. As of 2007, the Midwest generates $76 billion dollars of revenue every year from producing crops like corn and soybean, helping supply the country with fresh produce.

With the addition of new farming technologies, a recent critical development in crop production is the addition of agricultural lime. Aglime is a type of crushed aggregate used to balance soil pH while also reducing soil toxicity and increasing farm yields. Limestone contains high levels of calcium and magnesium carbonate, which help balance the acid levels in soil that naturally occurs from plant decomposition and the overuse of fertilizers. With high pH levels, plants are unable to absorb nutrients needed for a healthy harvest.

It is important to remember that Aglime is not a type of fertilizer. Rather than providing nutrients, the fine powder ensures maximum nutrient absorption from the soil to crops. Additionally, with Aglime being a natural product, it is a very sustainable choice for farmers. Aglime reduces nitrate levels and other fertilizer byproducts that may seep into fresh groundwater and pollute our rivers and lakes.

When deciding if Aglime is the best solution for your crops, US Aggregates recommends testing soil every two to three years. Looking at the soil’s pH, fertility, drainage ability, and organic composition will help determine the best soil treatment plan. When applying Aglime to crops, it is important to note the size of the aggregate. The larger the particle size, the longer the lime takes to absorb into the soil. For dire situations, extremely fine particles are able to reach full use after one month of application.

With over 20 operations across Indiana, US Aggregates has been one of the top producers of Aglime and other aggregate materials since 1967.

We hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July. When you add Midwestern corn into your holiday celebration, remember the farmers who took the time to grow it. To learn more about US Aggregates and the aggregates we produce, visit our products page.


Madeline Freeman contributed to this article