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Siouxland's sweet corn crop rounding into season after wet spring caused delays
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The crop is in finally.

Siouxland's sweet corn crop rounding into season after wet spring caused delays

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SIOUX CITY -- It may be a few weeks late but Anderson Produce's Steve Anderson is happy he has enough sweet corn to sell at the Sioux City Farmers Market.

"We planted on April 25, had a May frost, as well as cool conditions after that," Anderson, who farms near Lyon, Nebraska with his wife Linda, said, Wednesday morning. "In a perfect situation, we'd be selling our first sweet corn around or shortly after July 4."

"We're easily a good two weeks behind," he said. "That means we'll be playing catch up for the remainder of the season."

Joel DeJong, an agronomist for Iowa State University Extension & Outreach, said many farmers face the same predicament as Anderson.

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"Sweet corn needs plenty of sun, plenty of heat and plenty of dry weather to grow," DeJong said. "With so many rainy days and so many cool days over the past three months, things have been challenging."

However, a recent spate of days with above-average temps helped out Aaron Mallett tremendously.

At his farm near Salix, Iowa, Mallett grows everything from sweet corn to tomatoes to broccoli to beans.

"We were finally able to start selling sweet corn last weekend," Mallett said. "Those few hot days really did the trick."

In addition, Farmer Brown's Garden, an Oto, Iowa-based business was the third vendor at the Sioux City Farmers Market selling the always popular sweet corn. Located at the corner of Pearl Street and Tri-View, the market is open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., every Wednesday and Saturday until the end of October. 

DeJong rated the majority of Iowa's corn as being in good-to-excellent conditions. Despite that, crops in the northern part of the state may take more time to mature.

"Farms around the Iowa-Minnesota border experienced cooler temps as well as more rain than farms closer to Sioux City," he said. "Despite that, all crops can really benefit from an extended period of hot days and dry conditions."

While Mallett said cool weather has delayed his sweet corn crop, it nearly devastated his honey production.

"Even though we can make up for lost time when it comes to sweet corn, it doesn't extend its season," he said. "With more hot days, we're hoping our bees will be able to produce more honey."

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