The recent storms in the midwest have created a situation where the crops grown there have suffered to the point where the harvest will be much less. What this means is the price paid for those crops has steadily risen and if a farmer is fortunate enough to have some in storage or have a crop that is unaffected by the storms, he will be sitting pretty. For example, corn was selling for around $4 a bushel a year ago. Today, it's over $7 and still rising.
We've raised corn here at Our Little Acre for as long as I can remember. The small vegetable plot we have was here when we bought our house and while some years we only managed to plant a part of it, there was always sweet corn. Harvest time in August has always meant a five-pound weight gain, due to eating so much corn slathered in butter. Sometimes we not only have corn with our meal, sweet corn IS our meal.
Corn always took up the most room in the garden, which means it has been grown in pretty much the same location year after year. The quality of that corn has made a steady decline in regard to number of stalks and stalks that produce nice full ears.
Plants take from the soil what they need to grow and unless those elements are replaced, the soil will suffer and plants grown there will suffer, too. We've historically never applied anything to our corn, including fertilizer, which no doubt has affected the quality of our crop.
As you can see from this recent photograph of our corn, we have issues once again, with spotty germination being the biggest one right now. Timing is everything when planting seeds and this spring, shortly after we planted our corn seeds, we received lots of rain and cool weather. The seed sat in the ground and a lot of it rotted, necessitating replanting.
We grow the supersweet varieties of corn, usually one white corn and one bicolor (white and yellow together). This year, we tried another variety simply for its novelty - 'Ruby Queen' is red! I've never eaten it before, so we'll see how it compares to our usual variety, 'Serendipity.'
We put fertilizer between the rows last week, and hopefully that will boost those weaker plants. In any case, I don't think we'll be reaping the benefits of higher corn prices with the corn we're growing in our garden. It doesn't matter anyway - we eat all the profits.