2023 Harvest Updates

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I'm aware its been far to long since my last post here. I will try to keep this more current. There is a lot of interesting stuff going on.

Last week we welcomed the arrival of our 2023 Hudson valley harvest. It was much bigger than expected. The Schoomakers of Saunderskill Farms grew it on their land behind the firehouse in Accord, NY. It was fun to watch its progress all year long on my way to work. The Schoomakers are a historic American farm, dating back 12 generations to the 1600s.  I believe that makes them the 2nd longest continuously run family farm in America.  So we are honored to be a part of that long history. 

The crop covered 15 acres on a 30 acre plot along the Rondout river. It was continuously threatened by torrential rains from June through August. July alone saw over 15 inches of rain after 10 inches in June. August calmed down a bit but still saw 6 inches of rain.  

By comparison, our land in Minnesota received 1.5 inches in June, 1 inch in July, and a whopping 3 inches in August. That's just a little below average actually. Popcorn is pretty accommodating to a wide variety of outcomes. And it is much more mold resistant than field corn, which Dan Schoonmaker said was a problem for them this year. Corn, whether popcorn, field corn or sweet corn, adjusts how many cobs it produces, and also adjusts the size and fullness of each cob depending on how much moisture it receives, and critically, when it receives it.

In the end we probably got 60 bushels per acre, or about 3360 pounds per acre, totaling a little over 50,000 lbs.  At the rate we are producing, that might only last us 20 weeks. Luckily we still have about 50,000 lbs laying in wait in Minnesota from our 2022 harvest. Field corn would have netted over 200 bushels per acre. That shows just how much more science and development has been allocated to maximizing the yield of conventional corn. 

 

We can't pop the new Hudson valley harvest just yet. It has to be dried down to popping conditions first. I'll explain more about that later, but here's to hoping for some warmer, drier weather soon. 

Dumping popcorn from old truck


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