Broomcorn

Broomcorn

Broomcorn Report 2017

Overall, the team at Caddy expects the 2017 crop to be slightly smaller or same as 2016 crop due to ongoing sugarcane aphid issues. However, we have inventory to supply all size crafters and not anticipating any stock-outs.

The 2015 crop was almost completely destroyed by yellow sugarcane aphids, also called sorghum aphids. Mexican farmers lost about 90% of everything planted. In 2016, farmers began to fumigate the broomcorn and fields that were fumigated every 2 weeks were successful. Unfortunately, treatment is expensive and not all the farmers have the money to fumigate.

DR.SAM-MOYER

In more hopeful news, farmers planted some of Dr. Sam Moyer’s seed in 2016 and with fumigation it produced nice-looking broomcorn, now in our warehouses (pictured -Dr. Sam Moyer with some craft broomcorn from his seed). This craft broomcorn is good quality with long fibers and long stalk. Our staff is working with Dr. Moyer to try to develop an aphid resistant broomcorn. If you want some of this broomcorn, then please let me know when ordering!

Every year has 3 main harvests. The winter crop grown in southern Mexico is harvested in March, received at our warehouse in April-May. The spring crop is harvested in June-July from western and northern Mexico, available typically around August. The fall crop grown in northern Mexico is harvested in October, available in the November and December time frame.

Prices are stable from 2016, but look for box specials on hurl online from time to time.

Broomcorn

Broomcorn? What is broomcorn? - Part 1

How many times have you tried explaining to people what you do for a living? 

'I craft brooms.'

' How?'

brooms_handcrafted_broomcorn

'Well first you need some high quality broomcorn...'

On our side, we like to say we are broomcorn dealers. A business that started back in the 1900s by my grandfather who shipped broomcorn across the US by train or delivered by horse and cart.

 

So what is broomcorn? By Google's definition you find..

 

But that doesn't really cover the all the intricate detail that a broomcorn dealer must know.  What does the plant look like? Where is best broomcorn grown? What type of broomcorn makes the world's best and beautiful broom?

Let's dig a little deeper.

If you drove by a broomcorn field, you might think it was just an acre of sweet corn stalks. The sweet corn stalks like broomcorn are both part of the sorghum genus which is part of the grass family.

The broomcorn seeds grow beyond the stalk of the 6-9' plant into lengthy sturdy fibers which are harvested by hand. Due to the labor extensive process, most broomcorn is now harvested in Mexico where the dry and hot climate is also ideal. 

 Broomcorn field.

Broomcorn field.

Broomcorn is harvested as either 'raw' corn or 'processed hurl'. Raw broomcorn has been cleaned but left with 'flowers' in the wavy tip and the stalk is completely attached. Processed hurl has the stalk completely removed and cleaned entirely. 

 Processed broomcorn hurl's clean and wavy tip.

Processed broomcorn hurl's clean and wavy tip.

Part 2 will cover how someone takes the natural fibers and converts into the beautiful and functional brooms that people have been making for generations. 

Broomcorn_stalks_broomhead