Local Sweet Corn Crop Delayed - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Local Sweet Corn Crop Delayed

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Many Fourth of July celebrations revolve around food, but one summer staple has had a difficult time this year.

Local sweet corn growers battled a wet spring to get their crops in the ground and growing.

Sweet corn is available at the grocery stores but if you're looking for something local, you're going to have to wait a couple of weeks because the corn just isn't ready yet.

"July 15th through the end of September, but I won't be into the main part of my crop until well into August this year," says Happy Hollow U-Pick Owner Stephen Andrews.

He's had up and down growing seasons over twenty years here at the farm. Last year was dry, this year is much wetter.

"It's average, there is no such thing as a perfect year."

Andrews' estimates the damp spring will cut into all his crops by a third.

"Access to the field was absolutely denied into anything but perfect sand soils, you could not get traction, you couldn't get the soil to work up to either get seeds or transplants into the ground."

Now his corn is two weeks behind schedule.

"At the silk stage right now, tassel's have just come out, they aren't really dropping their pollen yet, it'll be another day or so."

He's not alone, other local growers say they're in a similar situation. Getting a late crop compared to last year, when local sweet corn hit farmers markets as early as June 21st.

"We will probably have good quality produce later on, but it's later on."

As the growers get more corn plantings into the ground, you'll end up seeing more sweet corn later in this season when it's had time to mature.

The USDA says the average retail price for sweet corn rose six point two percent during the first quarter of this year.

The latest reports in March priced sweet corn at 54 cents per ear.