By Clint Thompson
A mid-January freeze event impacted sweet corn production in South Florida. The significance of the impact during the weekend of Jan. 13-15 depends on what production stage the corn was in.
Tori Rumenik, commodity services and supply chain manager for the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, elaborated on how some producers were affected by the freeze burn damage and others were not.
“I want to say some of it was hit good. There was a lot of corn at different stages which really impacts how much would have been lost. There were some guys that got hit, and then some that came out okay,” Rumenik said. “The growers that did have corn did feel a loss from this. They depend on a little bit higher market this time of year, too, because there’s a lower supply, normally.”
Temperatures dropped into the low 30s and high 20s in some areas around the Belle Glade, Florida area. Rumenik said where corn fields were located also played a key role in how severe the damage was.
“I think the key is very location specific. It varies by grower by what area they were growing in,” she said. “If you were not right up against the lake (Okeechobee) you did pretty okay.
“Some of them came out okay.”
Sweet corn production is held in Florida from November through May. It is too hot during the summer for production. There is less volume right now, but there is a winter season for the state’s growers.
“There is less volume coming out, but there absolutely is a winter season,” Rumenik said.