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HARTFORD, CT -- Despite the recent proliferation of gray, wet weather, the state's specialists in early sweet corn production have once again beat other growers throughout the Northeast in bringing sweet corn to Connecticut consumers, according to the Connecticut Department of Agriculture.

"I began picking very early this morning," Tom Baggott of Baggott Family Farms in East Windsor, CT, which uses a combination of plastic and row cover to coax the plants into growing faster and earlier than more traditional field methods," said in a June 26 press release. "We'll have it for sale at our farmstand and will be sending it to a few farmers markets this weekend. As supply increases, we'll begin wholesaling to other farmers in the state to sell at their farmstands before their own fields are ready for picking."

Depending on weather, a few farmers in the state using progressive growing techniques offer it for sale for the July 4 holiday weekend. This year, Baggott is the first to harvest. Others anticipate beginning to pick sometime during the week of June 29 or the week after.

"We are very fortunate to have farmers who specialize in these production methods," F. Philip Prelli, Connecticut's commissioner of agriculture, said in the release. "Connecticut residents are treated every year to the earliest -- and in my humble opinion, the very best -- sweet corn in New England and all of the Northeast."