Summer corn to bring promotable volume

07/08/2014 03:42:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

As Georgia finishes its sweet corn crop, grower-shippers report volume throughout the country should be high, but late-July could bring tighter supplies because of tardy harvest starts. Doug OhlemeierAs Georgia finishes its sweet corn crop, grower-shippers report volume throughout the country should be high, but late-July could bring tighter supplies because of tardy harvest starts. As Georgia finishes its sweet corn crop, grower-shippers report volume throughout the country should be high, but late-July could bring tighter supplies because of tardy harvest starts.

Look for supplies to tighten around the week of July 21, said Jason Turek, partner in King Ferry, N.Y.-based Turek Farms.

“Some of the southern deals have drug out a little longer so at some point in July, corn will be very short,” he said July 7. “Supplies should stay tight until Aug. 1 when more (national) volume comes on. In New York, we have a very good-looking crop and it will be a great summer to promote corn.”

On July 8, Turek began harvesting from Delaware and planned to begin New York production July 29, about a week later than usual.

In early July, Van Solkema Produce Inc., in Byron Center, Mich., was finishing Georgia harvesting.

Todd Van Solkema, chief executive officer, characterized Georgia demand as sluggish and said the commencement of East Coast production, particularly on white corn, made for light Georgia demand.

In early July, Michigan would normally be in production but following a cooler than normal spring, Van Solkema said he doesn’t expect production to begin until July 18.

“Everything looks real good,” Van Solkema said July 8. “We will have corn to promote. We will have good volume and good yields.”

Brett BergmannBergmannVan Solkema Produce increased production 15%-20%, he said.

South Bay, Fla.-based Hugh H. Branch Inc., plans to ship Georgia corn until July 17.

Brett Bergmann, co-owner, characterized that state’s crop as beautiful.

Branch was pulling small volumes from grower partners in Indiana and planned to start harvesting in Colorado on July 25.

He said the summer should bring high quality.

“Quality and demand are excellent,” Bergmann said July 7. “Though summer is usually difficult as people start their vacations, we’ve had great retail support.”

Because of California’s water crisis, volume is down by as much as 20%, said Darren Van Dyke, director of sales and marketing for Brawley, Calif.-based Five Crowns Marketing.

After an early northern California crop, the transition from Arizona to Tracey and Mendota, Calif., in mid- to late June saw some small challenges but the problems cleared and product in early July looks strong, Van Dyke said.

“Quality looks very good,” he said July 7. “We have promotable volume available on the tray packs and we don’t see any supply issues coming up through the finish of our deal. Demand has been very good.”

On July 7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported wirebound crates of 4-dozen yellow, white and bicolor from Georgia selling for $7-8.95, similar to the $7.45 for the same colors last year in mid-July.

The USDA also reported wirebound crates of 4-dozen from the San Joaquin Valley selling for $15.95-16.95 for yellow, $13.95-15 for white and $15.95-17 for bicolor.



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