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Wet summer causes less sweet corn and raises the price

Posted at 5:10 PM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 05:00:58-04

LANSING, Mich. — It's a summer favorite - sweet corn.

But this year there may be less of it and at a higher price due to the heavy rain mid-Michigan saw in May and June.

Reese Farms in Clinton County is hoping they can finally start selling sweet corn the week of August 5, which is at least two weeks behind schedule.

But not only will the be corn late, Robert Reese says, it will be a shorter season.

"Usually we have nine to ten plantings of sweet corn and this year we have five planted," said Reese. "The fifth one, about half of it washed out, so it's going to be a very short season this year."

Reese has been waiting for the corn all month long, but this week they are finally seeing some hope.

"Sweet corn is now tasseled, it's got an ear formed and we are just waiting for the kernels to form and just pack themselves full of sugar so they taste like candy," laughed Reese.

Although Reese says this isn't the wettest season they've seen, it has definitely made farm history.

"It came at a terrible time," said Reese. "In our history, we have always planted all our acres. This year, we actually have fields that don't have anything growing on them."

Reese plans to finally pick and sell the corn next week, but says it will be a stop and go process.

"Whatever's ready will be sold really quick and we might have to close back up to let this corn ripen up "

This supply and demand will impact prices this year.

"It's 90% of our income for this fall, so prices have gone up a little bit just because its supply and demand and we don't have much to sell."

But what lacks in quantity, Reese says the sweet corn will make up for in quality.

"Currently the quality of corn looks great, the ear size looks good, so I'm hoping the plantings that we did get planted, should produce great corn," said Reese.

The exact day that Reese farms will begin selling their corn isn't set yet, but they say they'll give consumers 48 hours in advance to when their corn will go on sale.

For corn updates, click here.

They suggest calling before you plan on stopping by.

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