Looking for locally grown sweet corn for your July 4th picnic? You might be out of luck
CAMP HILL, Cumberland County — If you’re looking for homegrown Pennsylvania sweet corn over the July Fourth holiday weekend, you might be out of luck — unless you live in Cumberland or Lancaster Counties.
An informal survery by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau found that there will be some Pennsylvania sweet corn available, but it won’t be easy to find. Much of the sweet corn crop in the state is not ready for harvest, so the corn that may farm markets and roadside stands will be carrying over the holiday will likely be coming from out-of-state producers, the survey found.
“A wet spring is probably the main culprit for the delayed harvest of sweet corn, as some farmers had to wait for favorable soil conditions to plant seeds for their corn,” said PFB President Rick Ebert. “In addition, farmers located in some areas of Pennsylvania typically don’t have local sweet corn available until the middle of July.”
Farmers in four counties — Allegheny, Cumberland, Indiana and Lancaster — indicated in the survey that they will have some locally grown sweet corn available in time for the holiday weekend, while some farmers in Dauphin County told the survey they are holding out hope that some will be ready.
“In order to have corn on the cob ready to sell by July 4, I plant seeds under plastic to add temperature to the soil, which provides me a 10-day jump on the crop,” said Lancaster County farmer Jay Brenneman, who sells his fresh sweet corn from “The Corn Wagon” located about three miles south of Lancaster. “I’m happy to meet the needs of my customers, who want fresh sweet corn for their holiday picnics and cookouts.”
Meanwhile, farmers surveyed in Armstrong, Bedford, Bucks, Centre, Clarion, Lehigh, Perry, Warren, Washington and York counties all stated their local corn would not be ready for the 4th of July, with a more likely harvest date of July 15 or later.