EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

August 10, 2013

N.H. growers report good corn crop

Farmers report a healthy corn crop this year

John Peters said he’s seen it all this growing season.

“It was dry in April and May, there was flooding in June, a heatwave in July and now it’s been cool in August,” said the owner of Peters’ Farm in Salem. “We’ve really run the gamut.”

But despite the unusual weather, Peters said, he has still been able to produce his usual supply of corn.

“It’s been pretty good,” he said. “We’ll have just as much as we normally have had, and the quality is still just as good.”

Becky Sideman, a sustainable horticulture specialist with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, said, for the most part, farmers are reporting the same as Peters.

“The one thing farmers have had going for them is that the moisture this year has been really good,” she said. “It’s produced some nice plump ears.”

Sideman expects corn production will end up around the same as it has been recently. In 2011, New Hampshire produced 8.5 million pounds of sweet corn. In 2012, it produced 7.8 million pounds.

But this year, it was a slow start to the season.

“The wet weather in June made it hard to cultivate,” Sideman said. “But then the hot spells we got brought us right back into where we normally are.”

But Phil Ferdinando of J&F Farms in Derry would like to see some of those hot spells return.

“Right now, it’s really slowed down,” he said. “There’s a shortage because of all the cold nights we’ve had this week.”

Ferdinando, who sells his corn for 60 cents an ear, said he was only able to pick about 20 percent of his corn when he went out to the fields Thursday morning.

“Supermarkets are out, wholesale places are out, no one can get any corn,” he said.

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