Important Week for Sweet Corn Producers

Clint ThompsonCorn, Florida

By Clint Thompson

The week prior to Memorial Day weekend is usually prime time for Florida’s sweet corn producers. This year is not any different, according to Tori Rumenik, director of commodity services and supply chain at the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA).

“In terms of supply, we’ve got excellent supply in Florida for the holiday. I think you can look to Florida for good volumes and also really good quality. When I’m talking to handlers and growers, some of them are saying this is some of the best quality they’ve seen in a long time. That’s exciting,” Rumenik said. “Also, when you think about Memorial Day, I was talking to a handler, and he reminded me what a great value sweet corn is. We’ve got retailers with some good ads on right now coming up into the holiday; for a meal that kids love, too. You can’t really go any better than sweet corn.

“We really look to Memorial Day as the end of our season but also the big push for our season. That’s especially true when we get some really good warm weather down in South Florida. The corn comes off, and it’s pretty and ready to go for the holiday.”

How Much Longer?

Rumenik said Florida growers will harvest the crop up until the holiday before harvests will shift up into Georgia.

Rumenik has said in prior interviews that sweet corn demand does not increase until the April-May timeframe when temperatures start warming up across the country. That is when people go outside more, grill and take advantage of the sweet corn crop with more regularity.

“Early this year it stayed pretty chilly and wet up north. You always watch and see, ‘Is it going to start warming up?’ As it does you really start seeing those ads come on and you see those pre-bookings come open,” Rumenik said. “The northeast has been a good market for us this year.”