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At Hines Farm, good quality is expected despite later harvests for West Slope sweet corn and onions, notes owner Jerry Hines

Cool temperatures during the growing season have set Western Slope growers Brent and Brenton Hines back seven to 10 days on their sweet corn and possibly two weeks on their onions, according to Hines Farm owner Jerry Hines.

During the third week of June, Mr. Hines, father of Brent and grandfather of Brenton, said that he will continue to run the onion shed near Delta, CO, while the two younger generations handle the farming.

“We are also sorting outside onions,” Jerry Hines said.

Brent Hines said that he has 90 acres planted in yellow onions, with lesser ground planted with reds and yellows. Brenton has 17 acres in yellows, he added.

“The onions look pretty good right now. They are about two weeks behind at this point, and we are looking at starting our harvest in late September,” Brent Hines said.

Drip irrigation was not used this season, he added. “It was cold and wet and hard to get into the fields,” he said of early conditions. “But we got good moisture during the winter and should have good water throughout the season.”

Jerry Hines added that Mike Benben Inc. handles approximately half of the onion sales.

“The onion shed hasn’t seen any changes in the past year,” the elder Mr. Hines said. “We think we’ll pack out a total of 150,000 to 175,000 50-pound bags, depending on yields.”

Sweet corn represents about 300 acres of Hines Farms’ plantings, and the men said that harvest should begin July 18 on early varieties.

“We should be finished by Aug. 10,” Brent Hines said.

The sweet corn is sold through Tuxedo Corn Co., Mountain Quality Marketing and Mountain Fresh LLC.

“The corn looks now like it could be shorter height-wise,” Brent Hines said.

The sweet corn was planted heavier to bi-colored, with the balance split between white and yellow.

“We have had very good weather recently,” Brent Hines concluded, noting that cooler temperatures kept pests at bay.