Local sweet corn ready to be picked

Despite weather problems and planting delays in Western New York, Rochester-area sweet corn growers are looking forward to strong markets in July and August and expect to have above average supplies in September. Harvest of locally grown sweet corn is expected to be in full swing during the week July 21. Harvest is about three to five days late due to colder then average temperatures during May which delayed emergence and pant growth. June weather was ideal for sweet corn growth, but did not encourage sweet corn plants “to catch up” for lost time due to previous cold growing conditions.Planting delays of both early and mid-season varieties were experienced by a significant number of Rochester area sweet corn growers, which will be reflected in tight supplies and strong markets during the early and middle part of the sweet corn season. Because of planting delays, growers will initially experience gaps in harvest followed by significantly larger then average harvests during September, which is usually a slower time for sweet corn sales.Most growers are reporting significant cost increases for fertilizer and fuel which have nearly tripled in the past year. Given weather conditions and input costs, consumers can expect to pay from 10 to 20 percent more for a dozen ears of sweet corn than in previous years. For early varieties, many farm stands and markets are reporting prices of about $5 a dozen. If summer temperatures stay lower than normal, supplies will generally remain tight and prices are likely to remain strong, for the better part of the summer.

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