Margaret Smith, professor of plant breeding and genetics at Cornell University and leading corn researcher, has encouraging news regarding corn yields.
“As the corn crop in New York and throughout the country matures, estimates of this year's grain yields are getting more concrete," Smith said. "Temperatures in N.Y. and throughout the major growing areas of the U.S. Corn Belt were generally favorable this summer, with heat accumulation at or just slightly above long-term averages. Combine that with plenty of timely rains in many areas, and we could be seeing some really high grain yields.
“Around New York, fields that did not get planted before about May 20 were mostly too wet to get back into until early June," she said. "This later-planted corn did not deal well with the frequent rains that prevailed through much of June and July. So those fields don't look great.
“All that moist weather also favored northern leaf blight on corn, which hit some fields very heavily in late August. At this point, however, the later planted fields and the leaf blight damage don't appear to be enough acres to really dampen what should be a strong corn grain harvest year for New York.”