The cool, wet weather has made the 2020 corn crop late to ripen in the Fraser Valley. (Progress file)

Cold and wet weather has corn farmers waiting across the Fraser Valley

Usually the crop is ready July 5-12 but it's still a few more days from perfection, says local farmer

  • Jul. 14, 2020 12:00 a.m.

The cold and wet weather so far this summer has not been kind to corn growers.

Right now farmers across the Fraser Valley like Ian Sparkes are just waiting for some solid sunshine to help their crops reach peak maturity.

“Farmers have a lot of variables to deal with, but the one thing they can’t control is the weather,” Sparkes said.

He remembers a “good shot of weather” around planting time in his Agassiz and Chilliwack fields but it’s been cold and wet since then.

That meant a late start.

The corn has been ready the last couple of years between July 5 and July 12. But here it is July 14 and the famous Chilliwack corn is still “not filled out enough” for the farmer’s liking to risk picking it.

“We walk through the fields every single day, and the corn looks great. But if I pick it early, it means we leave so much behind.”

Ideal temperature for corn is 32 degrees Celsius, he said, not 10 or 20 degrees. So they’ve been keeping busy in the meantime, picking other crops and getting the signature green and yellow corn barns ready to go in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Agassiz and Vernon.

He’s got orders and sales pending.

“They want it now!” Sparkes said.

They just keep telling folks, “Another five days…” and hope for some warmer days to come. They have their sights set on July 20 as a target.

“There is lots coming!” he concluded.

READ MORE: June was cool and wet

READ MORE: Season was late in 2012 as well

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