Press-Republican

Business

August 11, 2013

Sweet corn late this year

PLATTSBURGH — Corn-on-the-cob fans may have noticed less product than usual for this time of year, but farmers expect to see improved supply and size in the coming weeks. 

Pray’s Family Farm on Route 9N near Keeseville plants 60 acres of corn, but about 30 percent didn’t germinate as a result of the wet weather, said Regan Pray, co-owner of the farm.

“This first picking … which is the super sweets, they’ve all been dramatically lessened with the severe weather we’ve been having," he said.

Pray would normally expect a 6-or-8-inch ear of corn this time of year to sell at the farm's stands on Route 9N and in Plattsburgh. On weekends, Pray corn is sold by the roadside in Tupper Lake, too.

“The quality of the corn is there, but the size is compromised,” he said. “There’s a lot of corn out there that’s 2 or 3 inches long that’s just not harvestable."

SUPPLY AND DEMAND

The price per dozen reflects smaller supply, he said.

Friday, that was $5; in years of plenty, it tends to be $4 or even $3 for 12 ears.

He expects to have larger ears of corn with larger kernels later in the season.

“Within the next week, we’ll have the new crops and new ears and the high-quality corn we expect to see here in the North Country,” Pray said.

Pray has also had issues with pumpkins, winter squash and anything that takes a long time to grow.

“Farming is a gambling business,” he said.

'SOIL IS KEY'

Rob and Amy Ivy of Essex have a backyard garden with a small patch of corn that is doing well.

Instead of seeding the corn directly, the Ivys tried something new this year — transplanting the seedlings near the end of June.

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