Northern New York farmers grow 156,221 acres of corn; five of the six northernmost counties each grow more than 24,000 acres of corn, according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Corn is an essential feed crop for the Northern New York agricultural industry. To help farmers decide which corn hybrids have the best chance to produce high yield and high quality under Northern New York growing conditions, the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, NNYADP, funds annual corn variety trials.
The results of the 2014 on-farm corn hybrid variety trials, conducted in St. Lawrence and Clinton counties, are now available online at www.nnyagdev.org.
Seed companies provided early maturing and medium-early maturing corn seed for the 2014 evaluation under the shorter Northern New York growing season as compared to more southern locations in New York State.
Lead researcher Dr. Margaret E. Smith, Cornell University Plant Breeding and Genetics, Ithaca, NY, notes, ‘The 2014 trials included longer-season corn hybrids that many Northern New York growers had found that they can use in light of the recent warmer and longer growing seasons in the region. As it turned out, 2014 was not one of those extra-long seasons in much of the Northern New York region.’
The data from the Northern New York trials is used in the development of the annual Cornell Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management for growers statewide.
Another NNYADP-funded project conducted field surveys of farms across the region to build a two-year database of common and newly-emerging diseases in corn and soybean crops.
The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program provides small grants for on-farm research and technical assistance projects in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Success stories and research results are posted at www.nnyagdev.org.