Sweet corn. (RI file photo)

Sweet corn….those two words means the true taste of summer for Iowans. This year has been an interesting and challenging one for growers like Todd Kjormoe in rural Hardin County.

“The prices of everything have obviously skyrocketed and takes a lot of nitrogen to grow our corn. And it’s been challenging,” . The weather over here hasn’t been too bad. We’ve had good rains. And we’re about halfway through our patch. So it shouldn’t be out there for another couple of weeks I suppose,” Kjormoe says.  He says getting enough people to help tend and bring in the sweet corn to sell has been another issue. “Labor is getting harder and harder to find like always — and you’ve got to just keep trying to go through it,” he says.

He has been growing east of Iowa Falls for ten years, and says the taste of the sweet corn they are picking is a bit different compared to previous years. “This year for some reason we don’t feel like we quite have the sugar content. I don’t know if it’s because of the extreme drought we had last year, the soils gotten messed up, and then this spring it was so cold and wet that I don’t know if it really got off to a great start,” he says. “We are about halfway through and the sugar content just still isn’t quite there. It’s still really good corn — but it’s not as good as it has been.”

Kjormoe believes one issue is causing the variance in the sweet corn taste this year. “I think weather is 99 percent of it to be honest with you — because like I said we’ve been at it for a long time now, ten seasons — and we’ve never changed the land at all. We get adequate soil sampling on it that land is in tip top condition,” according to Kjormoe.

Kjormoe has nine locations in north central and northeast Iowa for his home grown sweet corn this summer.

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)