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In this undated file photo, John Baumgartner of Olivia delivers a basket of steaming hot sweet corn to the kitchen at Nester Park in Olivia during the annual Corn Capital Days corn and bean feed. Tribune photo

No dent in the corn supply for annual Corn Capital Days in Olivia, Minn.

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

OLIVIA -- The summer drought that is damaging the corn crop throughout the Midwest will not put a dent in this weekend's Corn Capital Days celebration in Olivia.

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As many as 2,000 people could show up for the annual sweet corn feed today, and they will not be disappointed, according to Nancy Standfuss, director of the Olivia Chamber of Commerce. She got word Friday that the Schmoll family is busy picking all the sweet corn promised.

Volunteers will prepare more than 3,000 ears of the locally raised corn to begin serving at 11 a.m. in Nester Park.

The region's crops are suffering from the lack of moisture and heat. Fortunately, sweet corn is an early crop and was planted earlier than usual.

Connie Schmoll said that the planting was early enough that at one point, there was a snow cover on newly seeded fields. That early start and ample rains in May have helped see the sweet corn through.

The hot and dry conditions have caused the sweet corn to ripen early. Consequently, the marketing season for this year's crop is both early and shortened.

The Schmoll's are providing the sweet corn for Corn Capital Days in Olivia and Mills Auto's 90th anniversary celebration today in Willmar.

The family is also selling corn at its roadside stands in Olivia, Willmar and Redwood Falls.

Along with the corn feed in Nester

Park, contestants will be tossing ears of corn for the "Corn Olympics.''

Even the ice cream is corn flavored. Citizen's State Bank in Olivia served it Friday using a corn flavoring developed by researchers at the University of Minnesota.

"It tastes like buttered popcorn. It's excellent,'' Standfuss said.

A full listing of the Corn Capital Days events can be viewed on the Olivia Chamber of Commerce website: www.oliviachamber.org.

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