It appears Iowans won’t be able to enjoy Iowa-grown sweet corn anytime too soon. Ajay Nair, with the horticulture department at Iowa State University, says sweet corn is normally available by Independence Day. “Usually, growers shoot for the Fourth of July to get their crop into the market,” Nair says.
But, the cool weather this spring slowed the growth of many vegetables and the projected picking date for sweet corn is about a week behind schedule. “Anywhere from the 10th of July to the 15th,” Nair says. However, sweet corn may be ready slightly earlier than that in some areas of the state.
Nair says recent cloudy and rainy conditions have also slowed the growth of much of Iowa’s sweet corn. “It could use a little bit more heat,” Nair says. “If there are bright, clear skies, the growth is pretty fast with sweet corn.” This marks the second consecutive year that sweet corn has been late in arriving in Iowa.
Last year, record rainfall delayed planting and in some areas, sweet corn wasn’t available until late July.