One of the staples of summertime in Iowa is the taste of sweet corn.

Cindy Westrum and her husband grow the popular vegetable near Stratford in Hamilton County. Westrum says it’s shaping up to be a great season for the sweet corn crop.

“The corn is doing really well but we’re desperately needing rain though,” Westrum says, “which will probably start affecting the sweet corn crop — and probably all other crops in the area.”

Much of Iowa has had brutally hot temperatures this week with highs nearing 100 in many areas, while rain has been scarce.

“We plant about 12 acres and we plant every week,” Westrum says. “The next few plantings look good but I have noticed the outer husk is getting a little bit dry from the high heat but the actual corn is fabulous right now.”

Some Iowa grape growers like to say they get a better tasting wine from grapes that have “suffered” through difficult weather. Westrum might agree with that philosophy as most living things are suffering in this week’s heat indices that approach 115 degrees.

“I don’t even know how any plant survives, day after day, but I guess the roots of this corn go down pretty deep,” Westrum says. “I wonder with this hot, dry weather if it doesn’t make the corn just a little sweeter. I know it does that for the melons, watermelon and muskmelon.”

The Westrums have been growing sweet corn for 24 years and operate a sweet corn stand in Webster City.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City