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No additional harvest of weed plantations this year

“Too much sweet corn puts pressure on price and export opportunities”

There’s currently (too) much sweet corn supply, putting pressure on prices and export opportunities, according to Giel Hermans from Hermans Suikermais. “We have never started this early. The season started on 20 July. The harvests are extremely high. We have 30 per cent more cobs compared to regular seasons. Fortunately, sales are going well, because corn is very cheap at the moment. Corn is on offer everywhere.”

Giel mentions a boost to corn, not just in the Netherlands, but also in the surrounding countries. “Export has completely stopped,” he says. Right now, the so-called mid-corn is harvested. That supply is always large. “Because the harvest started early, I expect a shortage of corn could occur at the end of the month. The UK finishes on 1 October, and Spain comes into production around 15 October.” Hermans Suikermais grows based on contracts for 80 per cent. Now that the harvest is this good, much corn will be sold on the free market, and that will only be good for the consumption of corn, Giel thinks. It also helps increase consumption when major Dutch supermarkets offer corn in their leaves, which is better for shelf life and flavour, Giel mentions. “Consumers get a qualitatively better product.”

Growing popularity
The popularity of sweet corn is gradually growing. A real barbecue culture has come into existence in the Netherlands. Sweet corn, in their leaves, is perfect for on the barbecue. Moreover, it fits the trend of eating less meat, according to Giel. The Dutch aren’t major corn eaters: on average 80-90 grammes per person. “Considering a cob weighs 300 grammes, one in three Dutch people occasionally eat corn,” Giel explains. “But once people have tried corn, they’ll eat it more often. Eighty-five per cent of people who have eaten sweet corn for the first time, purchase the product again.” He therefore expects the market for sweet corn to continue growing for a while longer. For comparison: in the US, they eat ten kilograms per person per year. People in the UK also enjoy eating corn. It’s one of the countries Hermans Suikermais exports to.

In the past year, Hermans Suikermais conducted experiments with bicolour corn. This white-yellow dotted corn is eaten by 80 per cent of Americans, but isn’t yet popular in the Netherlands. Hermans Suikermais also grows completely white corn. This type is mostly eaten in Africa.


The ‘additional harvest’ from weed plantations among corn “isn’t too bad” this year. The land of corn growers is sometimes illegally used by criminals who plant weed among the corn. It was recently announced that the police is going to stop patrolling over the corn fields to find those hidden plantations. Giel thinks that’s bad. “We’ve been affected by it every year. I haven’t found a plantation yet this year, but it’s an increasing problem.” Hermans Suikermais isn’t going to invest in drones to find the plantations themselves. “These criminals don’t have much agrarian knowledge. Our sweet corn is harvested early, earlier than corn meant for the animal feed industry. When we find a plantation, we can therefore destroy it during the harvesting.”        

For more information:
Hermans Suikermais
Giel Hermans
Donk 1a
5995 PL Kessel, the Netherlands
T: +31 (0)77 462 93 25
F: +31 (0)77 462 93 26
M: +31 (0)6 547 577 64

Publication date: 9/13/2017


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