It’s sweet corn season again
CAPITAL REGION The first of this year’s local sweet corn crop is hitting the market around the area, but it could be a bit of a slow start for some farms.
A “fresh corn” sign is newly decorating the front of Kevin Luke’s farm stand on Freemans Bridge Road in Glenville, where he began selling hand-picked product only a few days ago.
Kevin’s father, Jim Luke, said that this season’s crop is still too new to know how it fared during the wet start to the growing season.
“This is just the beginning; we’ve only been selling for three days, but we really think it’ll be a good crop,” he said.
Luke also said that this season’s crop is right on time, but other local farmers would disagree.
Brian Debraccio, who owns Fort Hunter Farms in Rotterdam, said that he’s very surprised with how late they’ve started. He expects to begin harvesting within the next three to four days.
“We’re not picking, but we should be. I’ve seen some crops ready on June 30th, so this is a little late,” he said.
Harvests depend on a number of factors that vary from year to year, according to New York Farm Bureau spokesperson Steve Ammerman. “It’s been a challenging year for farmers, especially with corn. We have a lot of reports of uneven fields, with corn in one place growing 6 feet high and in other places barely reaching 1 foot,” Ammerman said.
Because of excessive amounts of rain, some fields have had a tough time draining.
“A farm located on a hill will have a different outcome than one near a creek or river, and clay soil drains differently than rockier soil, so a lot depends on the individual farm,” he said.
The USDA rated more than half of all New York sweet corn crops as good or excellent, meaning that while some farmers are wondering about meeting their average rate of production, there certainly won’t be a shortage.
Ammerman did mention that the short planting season may affect availability at local stands and farmers markets.
“Farmers usually stagger planting so they can harvest corn throughout the season, but because of the weather they couldn’t get into the field. So there might be a slight lapse between crops, but nothing serious or really noticeable,” he said.