Empire State crops take a beating

07/15/2011 11:43:00 AM
Amelia Freidline

This year’s spring weather looks to cut into production of New York corn, cabbage and green beans.

Growers expect less corn, beans and cabbage during the early parts of the summer deals.

The Empire State ranks as the third-biggest U.S. bean shipper, fourth-leading sweet corn producer and the fifth-largest cabbage grower.

Sweet corn

Turek Farms, King Ferry, N.Y., doesn’t plan to start its corn harvest until early August, about 10 days later than its normal late July start.

Jason Turek, partner, said things look difficult.

“The early corn is uneven,” he said in mid-June.

“It looks like it will not be a bumper yield.”

Turek said the later plantings, the ones planted in mid-June, should produce well for Labor Day demand.

In the western part of the state, Eden Valley Growers, Eden, N.Y., plans to begin harvesting in late July, two weeks behind its regular mid-July start.

“It’s tough to tell about the crop now,” Dave Walczak, sales and operations manager, said in mid-June.

“It’s a little uneven in the fields. The corn that got planted after the first round of planting is looking better. We should be a little short at the beginning but will be fine after we get into August.”

Gill Corn Farms Inc., Hurley, N.Y., plans to start shipments in light volume July 20.

Tim Richards, salesman, said extreme south Georgia heat could end that growing region’s harvesting a little earlier than normal. Georgia normally finishes in early to mid-July.

Richards called last year challenging.

“It was a tough year for us,” he said.

“We fought an oversupply situation pretty well most of the summer. Marketing was a challenge for a while. The deal was way oversupplied from other areas such as New Jersey, the Carolinas and Virginia.”

Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Georgia corn selling for $5.85-6.85 for all varieties in early July.

Cabbage

Growers say early cabbage production should be light.


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