Sweet corn for July 4th?

In a press release from the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB), an informal survey conducted found that there will be some Pennsylvania-grown sweet corn available for consumers to buy and enjoy over the July Fourth holiday, but it may be difficult to find.

The survey found that many farm markets and roadside stands will be carrying corn on the cob, but it will likely come from out of state producers, because much of the sweet corn crop in Pennsylvania is not ready to harvest.

Fennel Farms and Mason Farms will have sweet corn, but Mason Farms' corn is from Georgia currently and their sweet corn, coming in around the fourth is from Virginia.  After speaking to local growers, it looks like local sweet corn won't be available until the end of August.

“A wet spring is probably the main culprit for the delayed harvest of sweet corn, as some farmers had to wait for favorable soil conditions to plant seeds for their corn,” said PFB President Rick Ebert. “In addition, farmers located in some areas of Pennsylvania typically don’t have local sweet corn available until the middle of July.”  

Farmers representing family farm markets in Allegheny, Cumberland, Indiana and Lancaster counties have indicated they will have locally grown sweet corn to sell in time for Independence Day celebrations, while other farmers in Dauphin and Allegheny counties are still holding out hope that they’ll have local sweet corn to sell prior to the holiday.

“In order to have corn on the cob ready to sell by July 4, I plant seeds under plastic to add temperature to the soil, which provides me a 10-day jump on the crop,” said Lancaster County farmer Jay Brenneman, who sells his fresh sweet corn from “The Corn Wagon” located about three miles south of Lancaster. “I’m happy to meet the needs of my customers, who want fresh sweet corn for their holiday picnics and cookouts.” 

Meanwhile, farmers surveyed in Armstrong, Bedford, Bucks, Centre, Clarion, Lehigh, Perry, Warren, Washington and York counties all stated their local corn would not be ready for the 4th of July, with a more likely harvest date of July 15 or later.    

“Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is encouraging consumers to visit farm markets and roadside stands in their communities throughout the growing season. We also suggest that customers reach out and engage in conversations with farmers to learn more about how they grow fresh, local food,” concluded Ebert.

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of nearly 62,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.

 


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