Our Commitment to Quality
Starting in 2014, our corn crop has been certified as meeting the standards and practices of the US Department of Agriculture's "Good Agricultural Practices" program. We must meet strict guidelines for planting, harvesting and packing, and also for cooling and storage methods of the crop.
We rotate our crops from year to year, so the corn fields may be on upland ground one year and on Lake Labish the next. A Monosem 8-row planter is used to plant our corn. Weather permitting, we try to plant a few acres of corn every week from mid-April to July 4th, so that we have a constant supply for our customers from August 1st through late October. Frequent irrigation during the dry summer months is needed to get a good crop.
We do not plant GMO corn. You can be assured that Schlechter Farms corn is committed to growing sweet corn of the highest quality possible.
Special Machinery Used For Harvesting and Packing
We have used a Pixall single-row tractor-pulled corn harvester for the past few years, which is specially designed for picking fresh market corn. The corn picking machine utilizes a gentle pulling action that imitates hand picking, virtually eliminating damage. In mid-season, it’s not unusual for us to pick seven or eight wagons of corn a day, starting two or three hours before daylight. We pick our corn so early because the air temperatures are cooler and that helps to keep the corn fresh.
Storage of Crops and Processing Equipment
The wagons of freshly picked corn are brought from the field to the farm, where the corn is sorted, hydro-cooled and packed in boxes for the wholesale market or bags for our produce stand. The hydro-cooler is a very important method of cooling the corn in order to keep its sweetness. Our farm is one of the few in the state of Oregon with a hydro-cooler, which is an ice machine unit and a cold room that preserves the taste and shelf life of the corn. The taste and quality of sweet corn depends heavily upon its sugar content, which rapidly decreases after harvest if ears are allowed to remain at field temperatures. By lowering the temperature quickly and thoroughly through our hydro-cooling unit, the conversion of sugar to starch is substantially slowed, capturing the sweet taste at its peak.