Rush Group has recently, through its Hungarian office, started to trade Hungarian sweet corn. Hungary is one of Europe’s largest sweet corn producers, production in the EU is 70,000 hectares, and Hungary grows almost half of this area, with the majority of the balance being grown by France and Spain. However, up until now the United Kingdom has imported little Hungarian sweet corn, favouring Spain and France instead.
Hungary’s sweet corn is mainly grown in the country’s south and northeastern regions. These regions provide the long growing seasonthat is required for sweet corn production, and an arid climate that reduces the incidence of foliar diseases. Adequate seedbed moisture is necessary for seed germination, making it necessary in dry years to irrigate the field prior to planting. Soil temperature must be warm (12°C) for the seed to germinate.
In the autumn the ground is prepared, this includes ploughing or chiseling after the harvest of the preceding crop, then the fields are roller harrowed. In the following spring, fertilizer and pre-plant herbicides are applied. The ground is disked and harrowed again to incorporate the herbicides.
Irrigation is essential for sweet corn production, and about 600 mm of water is applied during the growing season. Irrigation is on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule, depending on crop requirements and amount of spring precipitation. In an average year, about 6 applications of water are made to sweet corn during the growing season. Sweet corn reaches maturity in about 100 days. Following harvest, the corn stalks and stubble are chopped and disked into the soil in preparation for the following crop.
Hungary traditionally exports a lot of its sweet corn, 87% to be precise, to Germany, Sweden and Finland. Hungarian sweet corn quality easily matches the quality of French and Spanish sweet corn, which is mainly used by the canning industry in these countries, as well as with the retail packers in The Netherlands and Switzerland. So why do these countries import Hungarian sweet corn and we don’t? It cannot be down to price, as Hungarian sweet corn is actually on the whole, more competitively priced, even when taking the extra transport costs into consideration.
Hungarian sweet corn growing season also has the advantage of being available 6 weeks ahead of the UK’s normal suppliers (mid June to end of July), making it the perfect alternative option for when other countries’ production of sweet corn is not available.
So what are you waiting for, the sun is out… throw some Hungarian sweet corn on the BBQ.
If you are interested in good quality, competitively priced sweet corn, please contact Hajnalka Erdos today.