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No overlap with Georgia expected this year
Florida has good window of sweet corn production
Florida’s supplies of sweet corn are excellent and demand is gradually picking up. “Demand is steady, but we have not hit our peak,” says Scott McDulin with Schmieding Produce. In some areas of the country the weather is still relatively cool, which directly affects the consumption of sweet corn. “Supplies of bi-color and yellow corn are plentiful, but on occasion we are tight on the specialty varieties. Last week, we had some timing issues on white, but not for more than a couple of days.” McDulin expects demand to start picking up this week. There will be more buyers in the market and retailers are starting to advertise.
Schmieding Produce grows its corn in the “Muck” of Belle Glade, Florida, an area known for its rich dark soil. Often called Black Gold, the land is an old lake bed which makes the soil excellent for growing quality sweet corn and other agricultural items year around. The company increased its Florida sweet corn acreage from 400 last year to 600 this year.
Harvest of Florida sweet corn
Scott McDulin proudly shows Schmieding's sweet corn box
Freeze cut out first sweet corn in Georgia
The Florida sweet corn deal started late March and will continue through the end of May. “Based on our planting schedule, we should have supplies from Florida through the Memorial Day weekend,” shared McDulin. After Florida has wrapped up, the harvest crews move to Georgia and Alabama until July 10th or so. Indiana will follow with production through mid August. “The window of supply for Florida looks good this year and we are not anticipating a large overlap with Georgia,” said McDulin. A mid-March freeze in Georgia affected the first corn plantings, impacting supplies at the beginning of the state’s harvest season, which last year was at the end of May.
Last year’s competition from Florida
Last year, the Florida and Georgia supplies overlapped during Memorial Day weekend, putting downward pressure on the price. In the Belle Glade area of Florida, most of the sweet corn is grown by the Sunshine Sweet Corn Farmers of Florida, Inc. “As a member of the SSCFF, we adhere to the cost guidelines set each year by the growers based on the overall production of the region.” said McDulin. Due to last year’s overlap, some buyers switched to Georgia earlier than normal as it was offered at a lower price.
Typically, Florida grown sweet corn stays east of the Rockies. “We supply Texas until the Texas deal starts in a couple of weeks. The western part of the country mainly gets its sweet corn from Mexico and eventually California although recently we have seen some business come our way due to a market price advantage.”
McDulin is also excited about a partnership between Sunshine Sweet Corn Farmers of Florida, Inc. and the Fresh from Florida marketing team. “It’s the first year that we have combined our efforts and as a result many retailers have taken advantage of promoting local, Florida product.” In-store signage and features in ads will help get the message out.
For more information:
Schmieding Produce LLC
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