“Prices have been unbelievable,” said Steven Johnson, salesman for South Georgia Produce Inc., Lake Park. “With the little bit of corn (that) buyers have been getting, if you wanted corn, you had to go out west to Mexico this winter. That’s been pretty much true for most everything we have dealt with this winter.”
South Georgia planned to begin its corn harvesting May 16, give or take a couple of days.
The state’s corn harvesting typically starts by late May and runs through mid-July.
Johnson called last spring’s Georgia corn deal strong in terms of pricing.
Because of torrential rains that caused flooding, he said Georgia harvested half of its volume.
“The only problem with corn last spring was the volume wasn’t there,” Johnson said. “It wasn’t one of those things where you can really run up a lot of money, but it was a healthy deal for us.”
Johnson said growers look forward to this year’s deal as the state produces a lot of corn and spring remains a big draw for cookouts and grilling and the Memorial Day demand.
He said supermarket chains do big pushes on corn from before the Memorial Day holiday through July 4.
This is the first season that Georgia Vegetable Co. Inc., Tifton, plans to pack corn.
“We have carried it in the past, but you have various growers that want to grow certain items,” said Shay Kennedy, co-owner, vice president and sales manager. “After they try it, they decide they didn’t make the profit they wanted. We have new growers wanting to get into it.”
Kennedy said the growers were fortunate in that they planted their corn and other vegetables in March, avoiding the unfavorable cold weather that hit south Georgia in January and February.
Buyers can expect an overlap between south and central Florida green bean production and the start of Georgia’s production.
“South Florida planted beans this year later than normal,” said Joey Johnson, president of J&S Produce Inc., Mount Vernon, Ga. “We should have some beans overlapping with ours’, when we usually don’t. That overlap may run to mid-May. Some (Georgia) growers plant late crops to take a chance. Florida doesn’t like it because it goes into their time. But they are doing the same this year with all their late crops. It’s not like they’re trying to hurt each other but are just trying to survive.”
Though some other Georgia producing areas begin a little earlier, Johnson said J&S’ growers plan to begin harvesting their 600 acres around May 10-15, the normal starting time.