Despite Virus, Sweet Corn Harvest Continues In Georgia

Harvesting of sweet corn is continuing in southwest Georgia during the coronavirus pandemic.

Casey Cox

We’re heading into a Memorial Day weekend where the weather is looking stormy, and even if it wasn’t, most people probably wouldn’t be planning big cookouts anyway, given the coronavirus pandemic.

But some things haven’t changed, and for Georgia farmers, now is the time when sweet corn starts getting harvested.

“We weren’t sure given the situation if there would be demand for fresh produce,” Casey Cox, a farmer growing corn, peanuts, soybeans, and timber in Mitchell County, said. She sells her sweet corn to grocery stores around the country.

Some Georgia growers have had challenges with the loss of food service customers, but Cox said while earlier there had been a dip in demand, this week, things are looking good – though with the caveat that even in normal times, the market can change day-to-day.

She and her dad hadn’t started harvesting yet when the pandemic really started affecting Georgia. So, they were able to look and see how other farmers were adapting.

“We were really concerned just about the health and safety of the farm crew throughout the season,” she said. “But the good thing is, they were able to figure out things in Florida before they came up here.”

She said being in Southwest Georgia near one of the hotspots of the pandemic means they’re taking it seriously.

“I feel like most people down here know someone who’s been impacted by the virus, or we know someone who’s working in the hospitals that are dealing with some of the heaviest loads,” she said. “There’s no life as normal for anybody right now, and that includes us.”