Ample rain, warmth fuel bumper sweet corn crop

Mitch Sasse, right, and his son Frank and wife Molly stand behind a truck full of corn to be sold owned by his father Brad Sasse Saturday during the Le Sueur Farmer's Market.

Sweet corn enthusiasts may argue about the best way to cook sweet corn, but they can agree this year's crop has been a bumper one.

Brad Sasse, owner of Sasse Farms in Le Sueur County, said "It's just been awesome. I think the quality and quantity has been good and sales are doing really well."

His family's sweet corn growing started 15 years ago as method for his sons to raise money for a fishing trip to Canada. Now, the family grows 17 acres of sweet corn, primarily at the Le Sueur Farmers Market.

"One variety froze in early May," Sasse said. "Other than that, everything's been great."

A key ingredient for corn is rain.


"We've had ample rain and that's probably the main thing," he said.

Judy Anderson, owner of Anderson Truck Farm, Lake Crystal, said her crop has been about normal. A hot spell in recent weeks pushed a bunch of corn plantings together.

"They are kind of ripening all at the same time," she said. "When we get the hot weather, it pushes the sweet corn fields together."

Mary Meyer, a University of Minnesota professor and extension horticulturist, said many garden crops have done well this summer.

"It has been a great year for lots of garden crops or vegetable crops," she said. "We've had an almost perfect growing season. We never had a summer drought this summer and we didn't have the hottest weather, but we did have warm weather."

Some gardeners and sweet corn growers may have been hurt by a recent hail storm, like she was.

With early warmth this year, growers got an early start to the season, Meyer said. From here, longer nights and cooler days mean corn doesn't need much more rain.

"We don't want frost and, hopefully, through September, we won't have to worry about a frost," she said. "That's really the main thing."


Follow Nancy Madsen on Twitter @nmadsenmfp.

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