(June 27) Midwestern sweet corn supplies could be a little early, thanks to ideal weather conditions.

Grower-shippers were happy to report that most fields escaped the excessive sporadic rains that fell throughout the Midwest this spring.

This was a welcome change from last season, said Randy Vande Guchte, president of Superior Sales Inc., Hudsonville, Mich. Fields have been quite a bit drier than last year.

“We have it all under irrigation, so if we don’t get enough rain we’re fine,” he said. “After last year’s flooding in our corn fields, we’ll be happy to irrigate instead of trying to pump water off of the field.”

Vande Guchte said his company lost 35% to 40% of its sweet corn crop last year because of rain. He said this year the company should be at full volume.

Willard, Ohio-based Wiers Farm Inc., also is irrigating, said Jim Wiers, president.

“So far it looks real good,” Wiers said. “We’re getting some nice, even germination.”

The market is strong right now, Wiers said.

“It’s anywhere from $8-10, depending on what area you’re coming from,” he said.

Vande Guchte said prices might hold up through the early Midwestern harvest, expected in mid-July.

“Currently, f.o.b.s are probably somewhere around $9,” he said. “That’s a very respectable price. We’ll see what happens after the Southern deal gets through the Fourth of July.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported June 26 that wirebound crates of yellow sweet corn were selling for $6.20-7.20. White sweet corn and bicolor corn were selling for $7.20-$7.70.

Wiers said June 26 that he expects to start harvesting around July 12, with peak volumes about a week later.

“It will probably be by the 23rd of July,” he said. “By that time, we’ll be leveled off and running consistent right on through the first couple of weeks of September.”

Midwest corn could start early, enjoy firm market
John Wiers, partner in Wiers Farm Inc., Willard, Ohio, says his firm is irrigating its sweet corn fields this season, that quality looks good and that markets look strong.