When to plant corn in nj?

Sweet Corn Vs. Field Corn

corn-cobs image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com

Corn is a common staple of cultural diets all over the globe. Two types, sweet corn and field corn, are divided into hundreds of other varieties. The distinction between sweet corn and field corn is significant. Sweet is primarily used for human consumption, while field corn is produced for livestock feed and other uses. Corn is especially prevalent in the Midwest, but is grown all over North America and other countries where the climate allows.


For thousands of years, corn has been a staple. Corn is most recognized in history from the Native Americans, where it was called maize, and field corn dates to 200 B.C. Sweet corn wasn’t documented until about 1779. Today, both types are used in almost every country on the planet for a variety of dishes, from creamed corn to popped corn. It is a common side dish for holidays such as Thanksgiving, and is a primary food source for livestock.

Field Corn

More than 95 percent of corn grown in the United States is classified as field corn, harvested for animal feed (particularly dairy cows), corn syrup, corn meal, cooking oils and dried corn kernels. Field corn is not sweet because it is harvested much later when the kernels are dry and hard and all the sugar has been converted. Field corn also turns into the highly controversial high-fructose corn syrup (dextrose, sorbitol, and so forth), that is added to several products such as toothpaste and frozen Popsicles. Field corn also supports the production of medicine, adhesives, paper and plastic. Field corn grows about 2 feet taller on the stalk than sweet corn, but it uses three to four times more water during maturation.

Sweet Corn

Although warm-season sweet corn makes up a very small percentage of corn production in North America, it can be found in practically any grocery store during summer barbecue season. It is more difficult to grow than field corn, as it is weaker against disease and pests. On the other hand, this crop is popular with home gardeners who grow small yields. Sweet corn gets its name from the kernels that have high moisture levels when they are harvested, so they are more milky. When it’s harvested, the sugar hasn’t had a chance to convert to starch, so the corn is harvested with a sweet flavor. Sweet corn is divided into three distinct types: normal sugary, sugary enhancer and supersweet.


All corn needs proper pollination, but field corn and sweet corn should not cross-pollinate. While sweet corn needs soils around 60 degrees Fahrenheit for germination, field corn can withstand lower soil temperatures as long as the threat of frost has passed. Kernels should be spaced at least 12 inches apart with rows 3 feet apart, about 1/2 inch deep. Sweet corn and field corn should be planted at least 300 yards apart to avoid cross-pollination, but you must always have at least two to three rows of each to ensure pollination within a particular variety.


Although field corn is used mostly to create other products, sweet corn can be used as well. Plastics are manufactured from both types of corn to replace petroleum-based products. These include batteries, packaging materials, plastic silverware and other plastic products (such as skin and hair care bottles), toothpaste, candles, shampoo and dozens of others. A corn-based fuel for transportation, ethanol, is added to gasoline and is sold at many gas stations.

PENNSVILLE TWP. — The foot-high red letters on the sign outside the Pennsville Farm Market herald welcome news.

The first of this season’s Jersey sweet corn has arrived.

Customers at the market sometimes are a little skeptical that it’s really local.

Local? This early? For sure. The corn is grown by market owner Fred DePalma who goes to extraordinary lengths to have it ready as early as possible for his customers.

To have the first corn, involves a lot of hard work and cooperation from Mother Nature which is part of the equation that’s always a gamble.

“I enjoy growing things,” said DePalma. “but it’s a challenge. It’s a roll of the dice. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t.”

For DePalma, and his market customers, luckily he’s been on a winning streak over the past few years.

While most sweet corn is planted directly into the fields where it will eventually mature, DePalma starts his earliest corn in greenhouses near the end of February or beginning of March.

Because of the bitter winter and a less-than-favorable long-range forecast, he delayed that planting by two weeks this year.

Around the first week of April the first little stalks were planted with black plastic around their base.

Drip irrigation tubes were buried under the plastic, providing a controlled level of water and nutrients. Metal hoops are placed along the rows and clear plastic put over top to form a mini greenhouse.

For the earliest of his corn, DePalma plants it in fields at his Carneys Point farm where the soil is sandy — a key to an early crop.

He also says it’s important to stress the plants as little as possible — keeping them growing and protecting them from harsh weather.

While his initial planting was delayed by the cold weather, he credits a warm streak in early May for helping to accelerate the corn’s growth. The temperatures in the high 80s late last week helped it grow ready for market.

The first ears of DePalma’s corn went on sale Saturday morning in Pennsville, although DePalma has been plucking the first few mature ears from his field for the past week to eat himself.

The stalks of the early corn only reach a height of three-and-a-half to four feet, but the ears are good sized with plump white kernels.

While traditionally the earliest sweet corn was either yellow or bi-color, DePalma said improvements over the years now allow farmers to grow white corn as their first as he does.

White seems to be the variety preferred by customers in South Jersey, he says, while sweet corn buyers in North Jersey and New York seem to more for the bicolor or yellow varieties.

Even officials contacted at the New Jersey Department of Agriculture Friday were surprised to hear sweet corn was being picked in Salem County.

On the NJDA’s Harvest Dates Availability Chart, it lists the early start date for corn harvests as July 1.

Most of the corn seen at markets this time of year is being shipped in from the South.

DePalma and his wife have owned the Pennsville Farm Market for about 30 years. While he grows all the sweet corn, he relies on other local farmers for other summer fruits and vegetables.

He will raise between 30 and 35 acres of sweet corn this year between his Carneys Point farm and his home farm in Mannington Township.

While this is early for Jersey corn to hit the market, DePalma has done better.

One recent year he was picking it for sale on June 2, he says.

But despite being this early with his corn, he’s got one more big goal.

“I want to have Jersey corn for Memorial Day one time,” said DePalma who is experimenting with different varieties.

“I just need a late Memorial Day and an early corn harvest.”

Bill Gallo Jr. may be reached at [email protected] Follow South Jersey Times on Twitter @TheSJTimes. Find the South Jersey Times on Facebook.

New Jersey Planting Zones – USDA Map Of New Jersey Growing Zones

Click on the image above to see a larger version.

Understanding New Jersey USDA Plant Hardiness Map

If you live in New Jersey and you want your garden to be a success, you need to know the growing zone that covers your region. The map above is the New Jersey planting map, which the USDA released for 2012. New Jersey is divided into four different planting zones, 6a, 6b, 7a and 7b. Click on the map to enlarge it to determine which zone you are in.

USDA revised the old plant hardiness map to reflect changes in average winter low temperatures over the last thirty years. The map helps gardeners know which plants will survive winters in their region and is a great tool for both novice and experienced plant enthusiasts.

In addition to new winter low temperatures, the USDA plant hardiness map now takes into consideration the closeness to a large body of water, elevation and the urban heat effect.

Zone information should serve as a guide, so gardeners need to understand that failure to follow planting and care instructions can cause extensive damage, and even death, to a flower, shrub or tree.

When shopping for plants for your region, visit your local greenhouses or plant distributors who will carry plants best suited for your USDA planting zone.

Mapping Out Central Jersey’s Gardening Zones

Matawan World Of Gardening Helps Its Customers Determine Which Plants Are Most Likely To Thrive In Their New Jersey Garden.

If you’re from Jersey, it’s likely you are familiar with the age-old debate on what separates “North Jersey” and “South Jersey” along with whether or not “Central Jersey” should be part of the debate as well. When it comes to gardening, there is a better way of defining New Jersey– thanks to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. This zoning map divvies up the state into four gardening zones: 6a, 6b, 7a and 7b. When it comes to getting the most out of your garden, trust Matawan World of Gardening for help every step of the way.

These designations might come as a surprise to New Jersey gardeners with longer memories, who were accustomed to buying plants in accordance with the 1990 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, which was in use up until 2012. In that map, New Jersey was represented by…

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Mapping Out New Jersey’s Gardening Zones

New Jersey is no stranger to discussions on geographic boundaries. For instance, the age-old debate on what separates “North Jersey” and “South Jersey” wages on, along with whether or not “Central Jersey” should be part of the debate as well. But when it comes to gardening, there is a far more clear-cut way of defining New Jersey.
That would be the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, which divvies up the state into four gardening zones: 6a, 6b, 7a and 7b. Knowing your zone helps determine which plants are most likely to thrive in your garden.
These designations might come as a surprise to New Jersey gardeners with longer memories, who were accustomed to buying plants in accordance with the 1990 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, which was in use up until 2012. In that map, New Jersey was represented by zones 5, 6 and 7. The discrepancy is mainly due to how much data was collected for each map. The 1990 map used temperature data collected between 1974 to 1986, while the 2012 update used temperature data collected between 1976 and 2005.

The 2012 map offers up many surprises that go beyond zone changes. For one, those who live in Cape May (7b) share the same zone as Raleigh, North Carolina. A pocket of Southern New Jersey around the Swedesboro area and the northern Monmouth County coast near Keansburg and Leonardo fall within this zone too. But head up the coast from Cape May to Long Beach Island and you’ll be in zone 7a.
With all the variance in zones, it’s likely that your garden might fall on the border of two different zones. If that’s the case, follow the advice of Bruce Crawford, Director of The Rutgers Gardens in New Brunswick. “Typically, I would pick a plant for the colder zone,” he says. “However, there are often micro climates in every garden (a protected spot next to a building or wall for example) that would be conducive for a warmer zone plant to thrive.”

Some interesting choices for New Jersey’s zones are found on the website for the Rutgers Gardens Spring Flower Fair. Suggested varieties include the April Blush Camellia (zone 6), the yellow-flowering Stachyurus praecox (zone 6), the silvery Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (zone 7) and the dark green Cast Iron Aspidistra (zone 7).
Another option is to keep it simple and follow the recommendations of Tom Wolfe, Store Manager at The Home Depot in Freehold. “The average growing season ranges from April to November in the coastal areas and from May to September in northern inland regions. Green and fertile, all vegetables and annuals grow well here,” he says. A good variety of perennials, ferns, flowers and herbs is also a great choice for New Jersey gardens. Wolfe’s recommendations include petunias and geraniums for annuals or daylilies and daisies for perennials.

Organic and Raised Bed Gardening Tips for NJ Zone 6

Hardiness Zones in NJ

Q: I’m confused about the planting zones in NJ. After doing some Googling on the subject and finding various colored maps, I still don’t get it. I live in Hunterdon County and I’ve heard that our state has many sub-zones. Which one are we? Does this mean I should avoid planting certain vegetables at certain times? Please help.

A: Thanks for writing! We recently added a gardening calendar to give readers a friendly reminder of when to plant which vegetables in NJ. You’ll find it right here.

Most of NJ is in Hardiness Zone 6, with the exception of the northwest corner of the state which is Zone 5 (cooler). Also, a few spots on the shore and in Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland Counties are Zone 7 (warmer).

GardenTimeOnline.com features a map of the NJ hardiness zones and sub-zones in the event you need more specific information.

Your Hardiness Zone basically determines the final date of the spring thaw for your area. It also indicates that certain plants will thrive better there (at certain times of the year) than others. However, I wouldn’t worry much about this if you’re planting a vegetable garden in NJ. May 15th is the official “garden planting” day in our state, when you can safely assume that no more frost will occur until the autumn. On this day, put all of your hot-weather loving plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, etc. into the ground.

Can you start your NJ garden earlier than May 15th? Absolutely. Many cool-weather plants aren’t affected by the frost, and in fact won’t thrive once the scorching summer sun kicks in. You can put these in sometimes as early as March 15th (that’s 2 months before the expected last frost date in NJ). It really depends on the type of vegetable and the kind of temps that plant prefers.

Cool weather loving plants: peas, radishes, spinach, beets, kale, cabbage, carrots

Early summer plants: lettuce, mesclun greens, swiss chard, broccoli, arugula

Hot weather loving plants: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, zucchini

Read our article about First Vegetables to Plant in Early Spring in NJ for more details.

GardenBedsNJ.com is owned by Mike Hyde and 4 Seasons Lawn Care. We build, deliver and install raised garden beds to Hunterdon and Warren Counties in NJ and Northampton County, PA.

Contact us for more information: 908 783 5733 or email [email protected] today!

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Rider Guide
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Thank you for choosing our bus service for your travel in and around New Jersey. Here is some helpful information to make your trip a smooth and pleasant experience.


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Bicycles are permitted at all times on buses equipped with bike racks on the front of the bus or buses equipped with undercarriage storage compartments on a first-come, first-served basis. Currently, most of our bus fleet is able to accommodate bicycles. However, bikes are not permitted on articulated buses (long buses that bend in the middle), mini-buses (routes 878, 879, 890, 891 and 986) or all suburban style buses traveling to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal since no accommodations are available on-board. There is no extra charge for bicycles brought aboard NJ TRANSIT vehicles, and no permit is required. As the bus approaches, have your bike ready to load. All loose items must be removed from the bicycle before the bus arrives. If using a bike rack, notify the bus operator before loading or unloading the bicycle. For safety reasons, the bus operator cannot get off the bus to assist you, but will be able to give instructions. Ask the bus operator for additional assistance when loading and unloading your bike from undercarriage storage compartments. For more information on how to load your bike onto our buses, visit our Bike Program page.

Due to safety concerns, hoverboards are not permitted on any trains, buses, light rail or Access Link vehicles, or at NJ TRANSIT stations or outlying property. Customers are not permitted to ride, charge, store or transport these devices anywhere on NJ TRANSIT’s system.

You have your schedule, purchased your ticket, and boarded the bus. Now we want you to enjoy your trip. For the comfort of all, please observe these simple rules:

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NJ TRANSIT has a variety of ticket options available to save you time and money. For specific fare information, refer to a bus timetable or select Schedules and Fares on our website and enter your travel information. Information on purchase points is included in the WHERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS section of this guide.

One-way tickets can be used for one trip for the number of zones indicated on the ticket. These tickets are valid until used.

Round-trip tickets are two one-way tickets valid for travel to or from your destination. Tickets are valid until used.

Monthly passes are the most cost-effective ticket if you are a frequent rider or use more than one bus line to complete your trip. They are valid for unlimited trips for the number of zones indicated on the ticket within a calendar month. Monthly passes are available for purchase beginning at 5 p.m. on the 19th of the preceding month through the 10th of the current month. Passes cannot be purchased on-board the bus. Any monthly pass of two zones or more is valid for rides on any light rail line. In addition, some private bus carriers accept NJ TRANSIT monthly bus passes for travel (ONE Bus and Independent Bus, both operated by Coach USA, as well as Broadway Bus and A&C Montgomery Westside).

There are three different types of monthly passes, depending on your travel origin and destination.

  • Intrastate Monthly Passes are valid within New Jersey only.
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  • Interstate Monthly Passes are valid for rides between New Jersey and New York City or Philadelphia, and for any intrastate ride up to the number of zones on the pass.

Discounted ten-trip tickets are valid for 10 one-way trips and are available for purchase if you are traveling more than two intrastate zones or one interstate zone. They are valid for 20 days, including the date of purchase.

Children (ages 5-11) save 50 percent and up to three children (ages 4 and under) ride free with a passenger paying any valid fare. Children’s tickets are valid until used. For student discounts, refer to the Student Tickets section.

Elementary or secondary school (through 12th grade) students who reside in New Jersey are entitled to discounted one-way and transfer fares. Students must buy their one-way tickets or obtain them from their school prior to travel.

Full-time college students save 25 percent on already discounted monthly bus, rail and light rail passes when their school participates in our University Partnership Program. Visit our Student Pass page for a list of participating schools.

Family SuperSaver Fares are available on weekends and holidays from 7 p.m. on Friday (or the day before a holiday) until 6 a.m. on Monday (or the day after a holiday). Two children, ages five through 11, ride free with a customer paying any valid fare. Up to three children, ages four and under, ride free with a customer paying any valid fare.

Senior citizens 62 and older and customers with disabilities can travel on-board NJ TRANSIT buses, trains, and light rail vehicles at a reduced fare of one-half the regular one-way fare or less at all times. Senior citizens 62 and older may be asked to present a valid ID (any ID or document printed with your date of birth and issued by a government, social service, or mass transportation agency) to obtain the reduced fare. Valid ID for seniors 65 and older also includes the MTA Reduced Fare Card; PA Senior Citizen Transit ID or PACE Card; PATH Senior Fare Card; or Medicare Card. Customers with disabilities must present an NJ TRANSIT Reduced Fare ID or Medicare Card to obtain the reduced fare. Reduced fare tickets are valid until used. Call 973-491-7112 for more information or visit our Reduced Fare Program page.

Military personnel and their dependents may use the one-way reduced ticket upon presenting their valid military or military-dependent ID cards. Eligible military personnel include Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard, and those with official “Retired” status from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard. When purchasing your ticket from a ticket vending machine or through MyTix (on the app), select Senior/Disabled to obtain the discounted fare. Tickets also may be purchased at ticket offices at stations. Veterans with service connected disabilities may present a valid Veterans Affairs (VA) identification card which indicates “service connected” to use the one-way reduced ticket option.

Hudson Go Pass is available for customers traveling on Bus Routes 156R, 158 and 159R and the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to provide more travel flexibility along the Hudson River and into New York. Hudson Go Pass enables you to travel on a bus up to two zones within New Jersey or on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal in Weehawken where you can connect with NY Waterway ferry service to and from Midtown and Downtown Manhattan. The pass also may be used to connect between 156R, 158 and 159R bus service and light rail service at Port Imperial. Hudson Go Pass is not valid on bus service to or from New York.

Customers with NJ TRANSIT rail monthly or weekly passes printed with a bus zone number can use their pass on NJ TRANSIT buses up to the number of imprinted bus zones during the period the pass is valid. Passes that are not printed with a bus zone number will not be accepted on buses.

Transfers can be purchased from any bus operator for intrastate travel (within New Jersey) and are valid for two hours after issued. Transfers are valid for a ride using a second bus or light rail service for a one-zone ride. For travel beyond one zone on the second bus, there will be an additional charge. Transfers are not available for travel to or from New York City or Philadelphia.

  • Customers transferring from light rail to bus should purchase a one-way, one-zone with transfer ticket from a light rail ticket vending machine before boarding the light rail vehicle.
  • A limited number of connecting bus routes and Newark Light Rail offer continuing trip ticket privileges, which permit a customer to pay the entire one-way fare for a two-vehicle ride when boarding the first bus/light rail vehicle.

When a passenger travels a farther distance than a ticket or bus receipt provides for, the operator will charge an override fee. The override fee applies regardless of which type of ticket is presented on any bus line, but does vary based on the location and type of service on which the customer is traveling.

During major service disruptions and extreme weather conditions, NJ TRANSIT offers system-wide cross-honoring to enable customers to use their ticket or pass on an alternate travel mode. When cross-honoring is in effect for your service, you can use your bus ticket or pass to travel on our rail or light rail services and some private bus carriers. If you travel to a destination other than the destination printed on your original ticket/pass, the appropriate additional fare would be applicable. The latest travel information is available by visiting njtransit.com, accessing our Twitter feed at @NJTRANSIT, or through our My Transit alert system.

If you are a frequent traveler, you can set aside tax-free money each month to save on your transit costs. Employers also save. Visit our Tax Benefits page for information.

Ticket vending machines (TVMs) are easy to use. Simply touch the screen to begin and follow the instructions to purchase your ticket. TVMs at park and rides as well as multi-modal locations offer parking along with bus or rail tickets. All TVMs are outfitted for customers with visual and hearing impairments.

Customers who purchase monthly passes also have the option of purchasing their pass via MyTix or Quik-Tik.

  • MyTix is a feature on the NJ TRANSIT Mobile App that enables you to buy and display your pass securely using your mobile device. Our free mobile app is available from the App Store℠and Google Play™. Find out more about MyTix now.
  • Quik-Tik brings your pass to your home and the cost of the pass is charged automatically to your credit or check card. To apply online, go to our Quik-Tik page or call 866-QUIKTIK or 866-784-5845 for an application.

Some bus lines require an exact fare. If an exact fare is required, it will be noted on the bus and on the bus timetable. Operators on these bus routes do not carry money and cannot make change. Customers departing from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York must have a ticket or pass prior to boarding the bus. Other lines are “full service” and operators will make change. Operators are not required to accept bills larger than $20. Please have your fare ready when boarding the bus.

Ticket refunds are not available for one-way or round-trip tickets. For all other refund requests, go to our Bus Tickets page for the refund policy or call 866-784-5845.

NJ TRANSIT is not responsible for any inconvenience, expense or damage resulting from lost, stolen or destroyed tickets, errors in timetables, canceled or delayed buses, trains or light rail vehicles, failure to make connections or shortage of equipment. Connecting times for other service providers are shown for information only. Customers should contact those service providers for exact schedule information. Fares are subject to change without notice. Additionally, NJ TRANSIT is not responsible for lost items left on buses, trains and light rail vehicles. If you lose an item, visit Contact Us and select Lost and Found or call 973-275-5555.

View the How To Ride video from the Rider Tools menu, and see how easy it is to ride our buses.

Buy tickets/passes or obtain transit information from your mobile device. Plan your trip and access real-time departures for bus, rail and light rail for travel throughout New Jersey and between New York and Philadelphia. Download or update the free NJ TRANSIT Mobile App from the App Store℠and Google Play™. Visit our Mobile App page for more information.

Find out when your bus is arriving at your stop through MyBus. MyBus provides real-time arrival information when a bus will reach you within 30 minutes or arrival times for the next scheduled buses.

Here’s how it works…

  • Locate the ID number on your bus stop sign, or visit our MyBus page to obtain your bus stop ID.
  • Call 973-275-5555 to input the bus stop ID number, or text the bus stop ID number to MyBus (69287). You’ll be provided with the real-time arrival of the next bus within 30 minutes or the next scheduled buses to arrive at your stop. An asterisk (*) will indicate if a bus is scheduled.
  • Use our mobile website for easy access to MyBus.
  • For information on a particular route at your stop, text the stop number, a space, and the route number. This is particularly useful at busy bus terminals.
  • TIP: Program the phone or text number for quick access to information at any time.
  • MyBus is not available on routes using mini-buses: 878, 879, 890, 891 and 986.


My Transit is our free alert system, delivering critical travel information to your cell phone, handheld wireless device or email inbox. With My Transit, you will be advised of delays, service disruptions, schedule changes and more. Visit our My Transit page to learn more.

800-772-2287 (for Text Telephone only)
Automated schedule and fare information is available 24/7.
Operators are available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Stay connected during your commute through social media! You can engage with NJ TRANSIT through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. While we make every effort to respond to relevant questions, concerns, or comments posted on our social media channels, we recommend that you contact our Customer Service team directly with critical or time-sensitive issues. For customers who wish to report an issue or concern to Customer Service, go to Contact Us.

  • Facebook Page – NJ TRANSIT
  • Twitter Feed – @NJTRANSIT
  • YouTube Channel – TheNewJerseyTransit

973-378-6565 (out-of-state)

Report suspicious activity or packages. Text your message to NJTPD (65873) or call 888-TIPS-NJT (888-847-7658).

NJ TRANSIT’s website is translatable in different languages. To use this feature, click on “Translate this Site” located in the lower right corner of our homepage.

NJ TRANSIT operates its programs and services without regard to race, color, or national origin, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. Any person who believes she or he has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin, or wishing to obtain additional information regarding NJ TRANSIT’s Title VI obligations, may contact NJ TRANSIT Customer Service at 973-275-5555. A complaint or inquiry may also be filed by writing to NJ TRANSIT Customer Service – Title VI, One Penn Plaza East, Newark, NJ 07105. A complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination.

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