First harvest of Olathe Sweet Sweet Corn is here

By: Stacia Strong Email
By: Stacia Strong Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Olathe Sweet Sweet Corn has become one of Colorado’s favorite crops, and has put the small town of Olathe on the map nationally.

On Monday the Tuxedo Corn Company kicked off the 2014 harvest season by picking their first round of corn.

The Tuxedo Corn Company will spend the next several weeks harvesting thousands of acres of corn, and owner John Harold said the thousands of ears of corn will end up in Kroger grocery stores around the country.

“Good demand, Good crop, we're probably going to end up shipping between 600 and 640,000 cases of corn, each case has 48 ears in it," said Harold.

Within just an hour of being picked the corn is inspected, packed, iced down, and stored for shipping.

The first harvest of Corn was on its way to Denver grocery stores before the end of the day.

This year corn lovers can expect to see a slight price increase, with the cost of doing business on the rise along with labor wage increase Harold has had to raise his prices more than 50 cents a case.

Throughout the season Harold will employ over 150 workers which cost him more than $11,000 dollars for the short growing season.

Though that cost has seen the highest increase Harold said not having someone hand pick his crop is not an option.

"We don't mechanically pick the corn it’s all hand-picked and there's a reason for that because of the tenderness," said Harold.

Hand-picking his corn, and the icing process they use to keep the corn fresh is what he said gives his corn that extra edge over the competition.

Most other growers use hydro-cooling or water to cool the corn which stops the process of sugars turning into starch, keeping the corn tasting fresher for longer.

Once the first 1,600 acres are picked in Olathe the harvesters will move to the Tuxedo fields in Delta and Montrose.

They are currently selling corn out of their shipping warehouse to the public for $10.50 a case.

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