Sweet corn grower expects to set a record for late start

Ag/Outdoor

July 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A major producer in central Iowa expects to set a record again this year when it comes to picking sweet corn. Ron Deardorff grows 200 acres of sweet corn near Adel, and says when he begins pulling ears off the stalks next week — it’ll be a complete turnaround from last year. “Last year we were about a week ahead of normal. In in these two years back to back, last year was the earliest ever started picking and I think this year will be the latest I ever started,” Deardorff says. Unseasonably warm and dry conditions last year got the sweet corn off to a quick start last year. Deardorff says the plants had to wait a bit this year before the growth started picking up.

“The last several weeks the corn is really growing, the color is good, it looks nice and healthy. It’s just been delayed in growth from the cool wet April and May. That’s really the only problem,” according to Deardorff. The early arrival of the summer favorite caught everyone’s attention last year, and now that attention is on the late arrival of sweet corn this year. Deardorff finds all the attention surprising. “Who would have thought in 1967 when I started farming that someday that I would be growing this much sweet corn and being contacted by the media to talk about the crop,” Deardorff asked. Deardorff supplies several dozen grocery stores and roadside stands in the Des Moines area. There are some others who grow early hybrids that could hit the street later this week, but Deardorff says he won’t rush things and expects to have corn early next week.

(Radio Iowa)