Harvesting Sweet Corn
Sunday morning I received a text message from my field man with Birds Eye Foods that they would be harvesting my sweet corn. I grow sweet corn under contract with Birds Eye Foods. I plant the sweet corn variety they give me, at the population they recommend, on the day they want it planted. I prepare the field, apply the fertilizer needed and control the weeds. They scout the field for insects, apply insecticides if needed, determine when it is ready and harvest it.
In the picture is one of the two sweet corn pickers that were in my field. These pickers harvest 8 rows at a time. The sweet corn is collected in the dump cart that is pulled behind the picker or in another dump cart pulled along beside the picker. The sweet corn is then dumped into the waiting semi trailer on the road. Each semi load carries about 50,000 pounds of sweet corn. When the sweet corn arrives at the plant the husks are removed, the corn is cut off the cob and the sweet corn ends up in a can or frozen in a bag.
There are a lot of people all working together to ensure there is sweet corn at the grocery store for consumers. Everyone has to do their part, including mother nature or there will be no sweet corn to eat. During the sweet corn harvest the processing plant at Waseca and the pickers are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week including Labor Day.