FFA Sweet Corn

JayFFAMay 24, 2011

I am an FFA Advisor near Kansas City, Missouri. Our Chapter has been given the opportunity by a near by farmer to purchase sweet corn from him @ $4/dozen to sell as we see fit as a fundraiser. I'm thinking we can try to get a spot in a local farmers market or try to get permission from a local business to sell out of their parking lot.

My main question: How do I make an educated guess as to how many dozen ears we can successfully market? Also, what are your thoughts on farmers market vs. parking lot?


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He did you no big favor by selling at 4.00 a dozen. That is retail market price. Maybe you can find some at a better price if you buy a couple hundred dozen or more at a time. (I always figure sweet corn will yield a minimum of 1500 dozen per acre.) Most road stand sweet corn here in Mid Michigan is 3-4 dollars a dozen and about the same at markets. At a decent location in prime season you should sell a 100 dozen a day or more. Mark

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 4:18PM
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I agree, $4/doz is not a bargain. I hope it will be hand-picked versus machine picked. Around here, the retail, last year, was $4/doz and big towns were getting $6/doz. I don't buy any except for hand-picked (less damage) and I need to purchase for less than $2.50/doz for my former market. there are just too many corn growers in my area.

If I was you, I would ask for he will only charge you for the dozens that you sell and take back the remainder. That way, you will only be out any samples, if they don't sell.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:14PM
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$4 a dozen is what you should pay retail, not wholesale. If you buy for $4 a dozen than you will have to sell for no less than $6 a dozen to make any money and $6 is really expensive for corn so you may find you don't sell even 50% of it and thus you will end up losing money.

I never pay more than $2.50 a dozen, even for certified organic sweet corn (okay, the first time I bought corn to resell I paid $3 a dozen and just bare broke even because i could not sell it for more than $4.50 a dozen as everyone else around here had it for $4 a dozen)

If you are buying 100+ dozen at a time from this guy you should pay no more than $2 a dozen, especially if you have to pick it up.

He is trying to rip you off, unless the weather has made it impossible for any sweet corn to be planted in your area, than perhaps you could get $6 a dozen, but don't count on it.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 6:22AM
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Hi JayFFA,
I'm in the Kansas City area. Unfortunately, that farmer hasn't done you all much of a favor. I agree with everything everyone else has said. Although we were selling sweet corn for 50 cents an ear one year, that was in the heart of the city where grocery stores are few and prices are high anyway. You'll be competing with 10 cent Walmart corn and corn sales at the grocery stores. People in suburban Kansas City will pay $4.00 a dozen but unless it's certified organic it may be harder to get more than that. Personally, I'd either ask that farmer to come down to around $2.50 a dozen or I'd look for another opportunity. Good Luck to you!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 10:17AM
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