CORN_DOM

Dakota Edge holds his “Obsession” variety of sweet corn, which is a blend of yellow and white kernels, inside a field near Whitesville.

All around Daviess County, there are plenty of fields packed with corn.

But don’t confuse that — AKA cow corn or feed corn — with sweet corn that has shorter stalks, usually grown in much fewer acres and has brighter yellow or white kernels.

And for Edge Farm’s Produce in Whitesville, sweet corn is among its best-selling vegetables.

Several years ago, the Edges decided to go with one seed variety called “Obsession,” which is a hybrid of super sweet and sweet.

“It’s a bi-color (yellow and white) corn,” Dakota Edge said. “We used to raise yellow and we used to raise white. But it never worked out when people wanted it. But this is more mutual and I think everybody likes this kind. It’s really popular now.”

Unlike the field corn used for grain, there is no combine or any machinery gathering the corn from the stalks.

Dakota Edge said the first batch of sweet corn became ready two weeks ago and they’ve been frantically picking since.

“The planting and caring for the sweet corn isn’t the bad part,” he said. “It’s the harvesting. You have to do it all by hand.”

The Edges, who are fourth-generation farmers, plant about four acres of sweet corn throughout the growing season.

Sweet corn needs from 60 to 100 days of growing time, which depends on variety and weather.

Dakota Edge said his variety usually needs 80 days and it does not get planted all at one time.

Instead, he staggers the planting out throughout the growing season in order to have sweet corn available even into autumn. The earliest sweet corn is planted in mid-March and the latest about the second or third week of July.

“Every year we seem to plant more and we try to plant as early as we can to get the early market,” Dakota Edge said. “And then we extend the season also because there seems to be a good value for it in the fall. …I’ll probably plant one or two more batches and then I’ll be done.”

The Edges keep electric wire fencing around their sweet corn fields to deter raccoons and other animals from chowing on it.

However, not all of their sweet corn critters come from the ground.

“The raccoons are bad but the blackbirds are terrible; they’re my biggest enemies,” he said.

Along with the animals, the weather is also a factor as it is with any crop.

So far, Dakota Edge said the overall sweet corn yield has been up this year.

“It’s a good harvest,” he said. “It got a little bit dry early on and that may have affected it a little. But everything looks good right now.”

The Edges sell their sweet corn along with many other fruits and vegetables at the Owensboro Regional Farmers’ Market.

Dakota Edge said he can also be contacted via Facebook for purchasing produce.

“When we take our sweet corn to the farmers market, we want our customers to have the freshest possible,” he said. “So we’ll pick a lot of corn the day before.”

Don Wilkins, dwilkins@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7299

Don Wilkins, dwilkins@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7299

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