The harvest is coming in so heavy, Governor Vilsack signed an executive order this week lifting size and weight restrictions for 30 days on trucks hauling hay, straw and grain on Iowa highways. The popcorn harvest is no exception, as Gary Smith reports from the American Popcorn Company in Sioux City. There’s a plant in Sac County, and the company has corn grown there, around Sioux City, and in Nebraska, and this year yields were fifteen-percent greater than expected. He says they were concerned with August heat but got plenty of rain up through the 4th of July and there was enough moisture to produce a “fantastic” crop so he says the Jolly Time company will have a high-quality supply of popcorn for the next couple years. Smith says it isn’t a big enough field to interest genetic engineers, but work’s always going on to improve popcorn. He says yields have steadily increased as he says new hybrids have improved and new varieties pop bigger, but the big “growth” is in flavored microwave popcorn. Iowa’s getting into value-added production, as Smith says Jolly Time packages it here, and the new flavors and “kettle-corn” preparation style have kept interest in new popcorn products strong. The company still sells plain popcorn in cans for export, in jars and big bags for theatres, but “the action’s in microwave,” as is the big volume of sales. Smith reports the Jolly Time company sells to customers in every state and in 25 foreign countries around the world. Its homepage offers popcorn gifts as well as kids’ activities and information at