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- UD students meet alumni, experience 'closing bell' at NYSE
- Newark Police seek assistance in identifying suspects in robbery
- Rivlin says bipartisan budget action, stronger budget rules key to reversing debt
- Stink bugs shouldn't pose problem until late summer
- Gao to honor Placido Domingo in Washington performance
- Adopt-A-Highway project keeps Lewes road clean
- WVUD's Radiothon fundraiser runs April 1-10
- W.D. Snodgrass Symposium to honor Pulitzer winner
- New guide helps cancer patients manage symptoms
- UD in the News, March 25, 2011
- For the Record, March 25, 2011
- Public opinion expert discusses world views of U.S. in Global Agenda series
- Congressional delegation, dean laud Center for Community Research and Service program
- Center for Political Communication sets symposium on politics, entertainment
- Students work to raise funds, awareness of domestic violence
- Equestrian team wins regional championship in Western riding
- Markell, Harker stress importance of agriculture to Delaware's economy
- Carol A. Ammon MBA Case Competition winners announced
- Prof presents blood-clotting studies at Gordon Research Conference
- Sexual Assault Awareness Month events, programs announced
- Stay connected with Sea Grant, CEOE e-newsletter
- A message to UD regarding the tragedy in Japan
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- March 31-May 14: REP stages Neil Simon's 'The Good Doctor'
- April 2: Newark plans annual 'wine and dine'
- April 5: Expert perspective on U.S. health care
- April 5: Comedian Ace Guillen to visit Scrounge
- April 6, May 4: School of Nursing sponsors research lecture series
- April 6-May 4: Confucius Institute presents Chinese Film Series on Wednesdays
- April 6: IPCC's Pachauri to discuss sustainable development in DENIN Dialogue Series
- April 7: 'WVUDstock' radiothon concert announced
- April 8: English Language Institute presents 'Arts in Translation'
- April 9: Green and Healthy Living Expo planned at The Bob
- April 9: Center for Political Communication to host Onion editor
- April 10: Alumni Easter Egg-stravaganza planned
- April 11: CDS session to focus on visual assistive technologies
- April 12: T.J. Stiles to speak at UDLA annual dinner
- April 15, 16: Annual UD push lawnmower tune-up scheduled
- April 15, 16: Master Players series presents iMusic 4, China Magpie
- April 15, 16: Delaware Symphony, UD chorus to perform Mahler work
- April 18: Former NFL Coach Bill Cowher featured in UD Speaks
- April 21-24: Sesame Street Live brings Elmo and friends to The Bob
- April 30: Save the date for Ag Day 2011 at UD
- April 30: Symposium to consider 'Frontiers at the Chemistry-Biology Interface'
- April 30-May 1: Relay for Life set at Delaware Field House
- May 4: Delaware Membrane Protein Symposium announced
- May 5: Northwestern University's Leon Keer to deliver Kerr lecture
- May 7: Women's volleyball team to host second annual Spring Fling
- Through May 3: SPPA announces speakers for 10th annual lecture series
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- Through May 4: 'Research on Race, Ethnicity, Culture' topic of series
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- Through May 11: 'Challenges in Jewish Culture' lecture series announced
- Through May 11: Area Studies research featured in speaker series
- Through June 5: 'Andy Warhol: Behind the Camera' on view in Old College Gallery
- Through July 15: 'Bodyscapes' on view at Mechanical Hall Gallery
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- Phipps named HR Liaison of the Quarter
- Senior wins iPad for participating in assessment study
- April 19: Procurement Services schedules information sessions
- UD Bookstore announces spring break hours
- HealthyU Wellness Program encourages employees to 'Step into Spring'
- April 8-29: Faculty roundtable series considers student engagement
- GRE is changing; learn more at April 15 info session
- April 30: UD Evening with Blue Rocks set for employees
- Morris Library to be open 24/7 during final exams
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10:47 a.m., July 8, 2009----Did you have corn on the cob recently? If so, you may have been munching on Delaware corn -- the very first of the season.
“We get a little bit of June sweet corn harvested in Delaware that is grown using plastic mulch or covers but the Fourth of July is traditionally the start of the state's corn crop,” says Gordon Johnson, an agriculture agent with University of Delaware Cooperative Extension.
Last month, Johnson had his doubts as to whether sweet corn would be ready for the holiday weekend. “We had a cold, wet spring and early plantings have suffered,” says Johnson. “A lot of growers had to re-plant because their first planting was ruined from too much rain.” But the corn did, in fact, arrive for the Fourth, although in more limited quantities than usual.
To have a constant supply through the summer, sweet corn growers must put in many plantings. “Typically, planting starts in late March and continues every week through mid July,” says Johnson. “And the growers who have farm stands, who want a fresh product into October, will continue planting through the end of July.”
About one third of the sweet corn grown in Delaware -- 3,500 acres -- goes to the fresh market, which includes farm stands, farmers' markets and grocery stores. The rest -- 6,300 acres -- is grown for processing.
Most of the sweet corn grown in Delaware for local sale are white varieties. Johnson explains that there is a strong regional taste preference for yellow corn in the Midwest states, bi-color in the North and white in the South.
Sweet corn has come a long way from the days when Silver Queen ruled the farm stands.
“People still ask for it but nobody grows that any more,” says Johnson. “There has been a revolution in the last two decades in the creation of varieties that retain their sugar longer.”
The new sugar-enhanced varieties have a high sugar content and creamy texture. “Supersweet” have even more sugar, crisp kernels and hold their sugars longer. Some of the newer varieties have a mixture of sugar-enhanced and supersweet kernels that offer even better eating qualities.
Delaware's corn crop falls into two categories -- sweet corn as a vegetable and field corn for animal feed. There are 170,000 acres of field corn grown in Delaware. “About 99 percent of the state's field corn goes to the poultry industry for poultry feed. The industry would take even more if we could give them more,” notes Johnson.
Although corn for fuel is a burgeoning market in the Corn Belt, which is centered in Iowa and Illinois, no Delaware corn is grown for ethanol production, says Johnson.
Field corn growers don't have particularly high labor costs since planting and harvesting is done mechanically. The biggest challenge to these growers comes from the fact that corn costs a lot to grow. “Corn seed is pricier than soybean seed and the nitrogen fertilizer that corn requires is expensive,” says Johnson. Sweet corn growers have additional labor costs. Some smaller growers harvest by hand; larger growers harvest by machine and then use large numbers of laborers to pack the corn into crates for shipping.
Wet weather has made for a more challenging season than last year, when not only was weather good but grain prices were sky-high for field corn. It would have been a bumper crop if not for the late season drought that lowered yields in 2008.
“In 2008, prices were unheard of -- East Coast corn farmers were contracting grain corn as high as $8 a bushel,” says Johnson. “Previously, $3 a bushel was considered good.
Floods in the Midwest drove prices up last year,” explains Johnson. Wholesale sweet corn prices also were above average last year.
This year, prices are still above average -- at around $3 to $4 a bushel -- but no longer at historic highs.
Learn how to can corn
Want to learn the best (and safest) way to can and flash freeze fresh corn? Check out the sweet corn and green bean class on Saturday, July 11, at 1 p.m. at Fifer's Country Store in Wyoming, Del. University of Delaware Cooperative Extension educator Kathleen Splane will demonstrate proper techniques for canning and freezing these veggies. It's part of her “Canning College” series, which is held once a month through October. For more information, go to the Fifer Web site and click on the events page.