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Local News

September 27, 2013

Local farmers eye 'pretty good' harvest

“It’s shaping up to be a reasonably good crop year,” Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County educator Paul Cerosaletti said Thursday.

With corn-harvesting season having recently gotten underway and expected to be completed in mid-October, “this is good news,” he said. While there are some exceptions, with some heavy rains earlier this year, there was the potential for the loss of nutrients in corn that farmers grow to feed livestock. It had the potential to affect hay as well, he said.

“Having driven across the state, our crops look pretty good,” he said.

This will benefit area farmers because there was a shortage of forage to feed cows because of dry conditions last year, he said. The quality of the hay is made early on, but when farmers were able to catch this year’s May window for cutting, “they were in good shape for the rest of the year,” he said.

According to the National Weather Service in Binghamton, rainfall was below the normal average in April and May but was above-average from June to August. The temperature in April was also below normal.

Overall, “I think we are pretty lucky,” Cerosaletti said. He said he hopes the weather stays nice so the harvesting season, which started on most farms about a week ago, will finish well. It is expected to completed by mid-October in the area.

Cerosaletti said he spoke with farmers at the Delaware County Fair about this year’s pumpkin crop, and there didn’t seem to be any issues. From what he has seen locally, things look okay.

The dry, cold weather earlier in the year made for an extended planting season for corn, so harvest can be a couple of weeks late, Cerosaletti said. This was first time in his 21 years at Cornell that he saw the impact of microclimates, where one area can be hit hard by rain and a farm nearby was barely affected.

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