Photos by Harlen Persinger
Bill Ingersoll has been in the business of growing sweet corn nearly all his life. Even today, he notes there are unknown challenges that pop up every season.
Each self-unloading wagon holds about 750 dozen, or 9,000, ears of corn. A Bryon 830 six-row picker harvests up to 4 acres before sunrise each morning.
NO IDLE TIME
John Stevenson, Ingersoll’s partner, is foreman of the assembly and grading line. Depending on each day’s orders, the crew of eight individuals starts sorting ears as early as 5 a.m.
Two homemade carousels complete the packing process. As they rotate, electronic counters fill plastic containers or these mesh bags, which hold 60 ears.
After containers are filled with 48 ears each, they are stacked on a pallet, wrapped with plastic, loaded and delivered to the Kroger warehouse in Oconomowoc, Wis.
Ingersoll’s daughter-in-law Beth and her daughter Avery take the corn to seven grocery stores and roadside stands within a 20-mile radius of the farm.
From the earliest planting date in mid-April until harvesttime, the crop is handled with kid gloves and closely monitored.