Sweet corn season is finally here

DES MOINES — The governor signed a proclamation naming Wednesday as  “Sweet Corn Day” in Iowa as the first freshly-picked ears have started showing up. Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig says it was good to see the sweet corn finally ready to go.

“Typically folks really try to hit something at market right before the Fourth of July — and we are running about a week, week and a half to two weeks behind — so you’re going to start seeing a lot more sweet corn available here on the street corners, and on the stands and at the farmers markets here.  Good Iowa sweet corn coming your way,” Naig says.   He says the sweet corn planting got set back by the same weather that hampered the field corn and soybeans from getting into the ground.

Ag Secretary Naig and Governor Reynolds.

“You had cold and wet conditions that persisted and that initially caused our delays, and then what we sort of need after that is ideal growing conditions,” according to Naig. “For corn in the state of Iowa, we need some heat, we need some sun. humidity and lots of moisture. We’ve had all those things across the state — so it’s sort of been ideal weather conditions to bring this crop on fast.”

Naig says you can see the impact of the weather as you travel the state by the different stages of development of the corn and beans. But he thinks the will all catch up.  He says you’ll see variability because the crops didn’t get planted in the ideal conditions, with wet weather that led to compaction and other issues.

“But, there are parts of this state that look great, they got in in good shape. As long as we can get the weather to cooperate,  I think we’ll bring this crop on fast,” Naig says.  When it comes to the sweet corn — Naig has his preferred method for eating.

“A typewriter strategy on sweet corn,” he says, “and the other thing I’ve just got to have is butter. . You have to have some real butter on that sweet corn. But, yeah, typewriter all the way.”  The typewriter method is eating from one side of the ear to the other and then staring over.  The other strategy is rolling the ear as you eat it.

Naig and Governor Kim Reynolds each had an ear of fresh sweet corn on the steps of the state capitol.  Reynolds also prefers the typewriter method.

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