corn field during daytime

Sweet Corn Production: Yields Up, Market Down

Jim Rogers Corn

By Clint Thompson
Sweet Corn Production
Photo by Alejandro Barrón on
John L. Hundley

John L. Hundley, veteran farmer and newest member of the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame, produced a quick response when asked how sweet corn production has treated growers this year.

“Production’s going good, the marketing isn’t,” Hundley said. “That’s the summary. Nothing else I can tell you other than that.”

That’s all growers and consumers need to know when discussing the current sweet corn industry.

While the crop has produced substantial yields, the markets have not responded in kind. Hundley attributes it to a couple of factors. With inflation and the current cost of food, sweet corn is not a necessity, says Hundley. The inclement weather being experienced in certain areas of the country, especially the various freeze events in the Southeast, have also played a role in the declining demand.

“People just don’t go outside and barbecue like they normally do in a normal spring. When it’s thundering and snowing in North Carolina, nobody’s barbecuing,” Hundley said. “No doubt about it it’s everybody, not just us, but the whole industry.”

Hundley believes better times are ahead for producers like himself, especially as warmer weather settles in for the rest of spring.

“It’ll improve I think when the weather gets better, which it’s supposed to. It’ll improve greatly for Memorial Day. Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day are the three major corn holidays for us,” Hundley said. “But we’ve got a lot of corn that needs to be pulled before that.”

Sweet corn production has thrived this year despite some challenges from the different freeze events.

“We had a freeze the last couple of days of January, and it killed some corn. The crop that we’re harvesting now is very good; good yields and all of that. It’s just very slow movement,” Hundley said.

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