By Clint Thompson
Hurricane Ian did more than just flood parts of Florida and spark damage with its high winds when it moved across the state on Sept. 28. It also delayed plantings of multiple crops, including strawberries.
Sweet corn was another crop impacted, according to Tori Rumenik, commodity services and supply chain manager for the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association.
“We had a small planting gap because of Hurricane Ian that lasted about two weeks and ended basically last week. We’re back to normal volumes, normal quality now. It looks like it’s moving pretty good for the holiday,” Rumenik said. “The biggest deal for corn, from my understanding and it may not have been the same for every single grower, was the water; just not being able to get out to plant because there was so much water in the fields.
“Part of it was they had rain already prior to that storm that had everything a little bit wet. That was some of it. Some of it was just dumped water. The good thing was the market wasn’t significantly impacted. We still had corn that was able to come out of the ground.”
Florida growers still have sweet corn in the ground as a cold front moves toward the region this weekend. According to weather.com, the lowest temperature forecasted for Belle Glade, Florida is 38 degrees Fahrenheit on Christmas Eve. That will be something new for the producers in the area.
“It’ll get colder than what they’re used to,” Rumenik said. “Anything above Orlando, it’ll be interesting to watch how cold it gets.”
Sweet corn production will hit its peak during the spring months of March to May.