Jersey bucks trend on corn production: We still love it
While farmers nationwide seem to be shifting their focus away from corn, in favor of other crops such as sweet potatoes, Jersey Fresh corn is still a priority here.
The USDA says farmers in other states are also producing more spinach, romaine and onions. But stat Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher says from 2014 to 2018, we actually increased corn production by 500 acres.
"There's clearly a demand more and more for local," he said. "And there are 9 million people here in New Jersey and several tens of millions around us that clamor for what we grow here. So the demand is here and the opportunity to deliver the same day really resonates with with folks."
But he says Jersey farmers are always game to try new varieties, so you will see changes.
"The farmers in New Jersey are game to try it. so you're always going to see a bit of a changing offering."
As far as corn goes, Fisher says one reason we keep increasing production while corn production is falling elsewhere is that we are very good at it.
"Sweet corn is a category that we grow that are super suites, which means they are well-formed, they're not going to be bothered by a lot of pest problems and they are just super super sweet, hence the name."
Fisher says other Jersey Fresh mainstays such as tomatoes, cranberries and blueberries are also likely to continue to dominate production.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5