Sweet Corn Crop Outlook 2014

USDA photo by Bob Nichols.
USDA photo by Bob Nichols.

According to Robert Sakata, president of Sakata Farms Inc. in Colorado, the farm saw record yields per acre, and fantastic quality and flavor in their sweet corn crop during the 2013 growing season. Sakata mentions that this exceptional quality was a result of ideal growing conditions during the summer months, and suggests that the lack of extreme heat they’d seen the last several years may have also contributed to their success.

Here, Sakata further discusses weather conditions, regulatory issues, and other concerns that affected their 2013 crop, as well as his hopes for the future.

What were some of the specific weather conditions you saw in 2013?
We did see some minor hail damage throughout the season, and this led to some occurrence of smut, which increased our harvesting costs since we usually have people pull the ears with smut off the stalks prior to harvest. We were extremely fortunate to have finished our sweet corn harvest prior to the heavy flooding rains that came through Northern Colorado during the middle of September. Many farmers had extensive crop loss as well as property damage due to flooding.

What were your biggest regulatory challenges in 2013?
Our biggest challenge this past year was finding enough help to harvest and pack all of our sweet corn. We had to divert most of our cabbage harvesting crew to help with sweet corn harvest and ended up losing upwards of 25% of our cabbage crop because of that. I have to give our entire staff a lot of credit because everybody had to work very long days to try and harvest as much as we could. It was amazing what we all were able to accomplish.

Our major challenges come from Washington DC, and even our state legislature. Because of the recent oil and gas drilling boom in our area, we are facing an extreme labor shortage [which is] compounded by the inaction of Congress to overhaul an unworkable guest worker program.

Furthermore, Colorado recently passed legislation imposing additional standards on rural electric companies to get more of their electricity from green sources. We also have to make sure that our Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plans are in place and implemented, and that we can meet the Global Food Safety Initiative audit standards and be implementing the use of our Global Trade Item Number in order to meet the produce traceability initiative.

What’s your perspective for 2014, and what are your hopes?
Centralization of where our food is raised and grown will lead to economies of scale that can better cover all of the overhead costs of our increased regulatory environment. My hope for 2014 is that as farmers, a mere 2% of the population, we can find a way to tell each and every one of our stories so that it becomes clear that each of our operations are very different, and those differences currently are our nation’s strength and not a weakness.

Source: Information from Robert Sakata.

Topics: , ,

Leave a Reply

Sweet Corn Stories

Crop ProtectionTool Helps Track Insects On The Move At Night
October 1, 2014
Signals collected by the National Weather Service’s Doppler radar network may serve as an early warning system to track corn earworm, a major pest in sweet corn. Read More
IrrigationFlorida Growers Seize Control Of Water Challenges
September 22, 2014
New irrigation projects and fertilizer practices have tremendous potential for protecting resources, while enhancing productivity. Read More
Crop ProtectionHow To Control Corn Earworm, European Corn Borer In Sweet Corn
September 5, 2014
Monitor traps, plant varieties with good husk cover, and rotate modes of action to avoid resistance. Read More
Grower Achievement Award2014 Grower Achievement Award Winner: Robert Sakata Of Sakata Farms
September 5, 2014
Robert Sakata of Sakata Farms says getting agriculture’s message to the masses will be critical to the future of the industry. Read More
CitrusU.S. Sugar Buying South Florida Sugar Cane And Vegetable Farm
August 15, 2014
Purported deal worth $100 million to purchase farmland and assets of Knight Management Inc. Read More
Sweet Corn22 Sweet Corn Varieties To Add To Your Collection
July 24, 2014
Click on the slideshow for details on 22 sweet corn varieties from the nation’s leading seed breeders and distributors. Read More
Crop ProtectionKeep Eyes And Ears Open For Corn Wireworms
May 23, 2014
Learn how to ID, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this vegetable pest. Read More

The Latest

Crop ProtectionTool Helps Track Insects On The Move At Night
October 1, 2014
Signals collected by the National Weather Service’s Doppler radar network may serve as an early warning system to track corn earworm, a major pest in sweet corn. Read More
IrrigationFlorida Growers Seize Control Of Water Challenges
September 22, 2014
New irrigation projects and fertilizer practices have tremendous potential for protecting resources, while enhancing productivity. Read More
Crop ProtectionHow To Control Corn Earworm, European Corn Borer In Swe…
September 5, 2014
Monitor traps, plant varieties with good husk cover, and rotate modes of action to avoid resistance. Read More
Grower Achievement Award2014 Grower Achievement Award Winner: Robert Sakata Of …
September 5, 2014
Robert Sakata of Sakata Farms says getting agriculture’s message to the masses will be critical to the future of the industry. Read More
CitrusU.S. Sugar Buying South Florida Sugar Cane And Vegetabl…
August 15, 2014
Purported deal worth $100 million to purchase farmland and assets of Knight Management Inc. Read More
Sweet Corn22 Sweet Corn Varieties To Add To Your Collection
July 24, 2014
Click on the slideshow for details on 22 sweet corn varieties from the nation’s leading seed breeders and distributors. Read More
Crop ProtectionKeep Eyes And Ears Open For Corn Wireworms
May 23, 2014
Learn how to ID, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this vegetable pest. Read More
Crop ProtectionWhat You Need To Know About Northern Corn Leaf Blight
April 25, 2014
Learn how to ID, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this disease. Read More
Sweet CornSweet Corn Growers Must Be Wary Of Annual Grasses, Resi…
April 7, 2014
Despite having additional management tools, growers must pay attention to issues related to annual grass control, and a new weed to the Mid-Atlantic area: Palmer amaranth. Read More
MarketingPioneer Growers Launches Two New Packaged Sweet Corn Pr…
April 1, 2014
Unique options available for consumers include a tray package and a microwaveable bag. Read More
Sweet CornSweet Corn Crop Outlook 2014
December 30, 2013
Sakata Farms Inc. president shares sweet corn production details for 2013 season and his perspective on 2014. Read More
Cucurbits2013 Vegetable Variety Showcase
December 12, 2013
Browse through more than 150 of the latest varieties from the nation's leading seed breeders and distributors. Read More
Sweet CornVegetable Variety Showcase 2013: Seedway
December 4, 2013
Check out the latest varieties from Seedway. Read More
Leafy VegetablesNew Leader Tabbed For South Florida Research And Educat…
December 2, 2013
Longtime vegetable entomologist looking to grow cooperative efforts for research as interim director of UF/IFAS Everglades facility. Read More
Sweet CornThe Latest Vegetable Seed Technology A Focus For Abbott…
November 19, 2013
Chris Roberts, director of product management and product development, talks about StaysRichGreen technology and its benefits to the company’s sweet Read More
CucurbitsVegetable Variety Showcase 2013: Harris Moran
November 19, 2013
Harris Moran presents their latest offerings. Read More
More VegetablesVegetable Variety Showcase 2013: Crookham Co.
November 15, 2013
Crookham Co. presents its latest variety offerings. Read More
Crop ProtectionWeed Management Options Broadened For Attribute Insect-…
November 13, 2013
Liberty herbicide complements Syngenta portfolio of herbicides for effective control of tough weeds. Read More