Spencer, IA: (Aug 09, 2012) - This year’s historic Midwest drought is having an impact on all crops, including the popcorn crop.
Gary Smith is President of the American Popcorn Company, the parent company of JollyTime popcorn. The company is based in Sioux City and contracts with farmers in northwest Iowa and northeast Nebraska to grow popcorn. Smith describes this year’s crop as “okay,” especially when compared with other parts of the country.
Smith says about ninety percent of the company’s popcorn is grown under irrigation in northeast Nebraska. He says the dryland popcorn grown in the Sac City, Iowa area is in decent shape having received some rain in July that didn’t fall elsewhere. Still, he says there may be some quality issues in this year’s popcorn.
With field corn prices at, or near, all-time record highs, popcorn companies have to pay more to prevent farmers from switching away from popcorn production. Smith says the company is already paying record-high contracts to farmers, and he expects the contracts to be higher again next year. He worries, though, about an eventual consumer backlash.
The American Popcorn Company has been in business for 98 years. Smith is a fourth-generation family member involved with the company. He was the keynote speaker at the Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute on Wednesday.