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Farmers Anticipating Bumper Crop Of Sweet Corn

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Just the right amount of sun and rain this summer has set up a prime sweet corn crop.

Farmers are excited about soil conditions and other factors that have led to what should be a bumper crop for sweet corn.

"We have 70 acres, but we do have a fair amount of woods and wetlands," said Reid Gysland.

The Gysland Brothers, near Jordan, Minnesota, have been farming for more than 40 years. From apples to zucchinis, the Gyslands have it covered. But this year they are especially excited that just the right amount of sun and rain has created a winning recipe for sweet corn.

"This is just about perfect," Reid Gysland said. "It's been pollinated well, it's filled out really nice, good moisture content. And filled up to the tip. It's really what we want the corn to look like."

That's more than they can say for the past couple sweet corn seasons.

"I would say we are off to a better start than usual," Todd Gysland said.

That's because in previous years, late snowfalls have meant late starts for planting. This year the Gyslands, and other sweet corn farmers, figure they got at least two extra weeks to work with.

"Usually we get maybe 12 good weeks, this year we'll get 14 good weeks, so it's very important," Reid said.

Conditions have been good for growing -- almost too good. When it rains everything grows -- not just the sweet corn, but the weeds too.

"It's a little challenge to keep up, but it's better than the alternative," Reid said.

In a three-acre plot, the Gyslands expect to harvest 18,000 cobs of corn. Much of it will go to farmers markets around the Twin Cities. The Gyslands know Mother Nature did her part. Now it's just up to the salt and butter.

"We just started picking on Saturday and we are still a little on the young side," Reid said, holding up an ear of corn. "But now that it's had a couple days to ripen up, this is what it should look like."

The Gyslands say they are normally picking sweet corn during the first week of August, so they are a little ahead of schedule. They think they will be very active now through Labor Day.


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