Field Crop Update, September 7, 2023

Erik Smith, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

September 7, 2023

1. Announcements and Weather Outlook

It may have been hot this week, but our growing degree days (GDD) across the region are either at, below, or well below normal. Couple this with the dry spring conditions that caused late/uneven emergence, and we're looking at many or most corn silage harvests in our region starting in 10-14 days. But certainly there are likely to be fields in Saratoga County and nearer to the Hudson Valley that may be ready in a few days, given their relatively warmer climate. So while the GDD chart in section 2 has a few locations and silking dates that would suggest that chopping season is here for some of us, how close you are to harvest maturity will depend heavily on local conditions. So keep an eye on your crop!

If you have weed populations that you suspect may be resistant to herbicides (and it's not already been confirmed), please get in touch! Cornell has an herbicide resistance screening program, and we can help determine if your problem weeds truly are resistant. Successful management is only possible when you're armed with the knowledge of what you're dealing with.

And here's another reminder that Cover crop planting season is here. There is still plenty of time to plant a great cover crop that will achieve your goals for that ground. Check out this short article for info on fall oat, wheat, and rye, and check out the links at the top of the page to learn more about other cover cropping strategies.

Weather Outlook:

growing degree day map for May 1 - September 6
GDD difference from normal (days) March 15 - September 6
Forecast with focus on heat and storms
7-day precipitation amounts
outlook for September 14-20

2. Growing Degree Days See: Climate Smart Farming Growing Degree Day Calculator. Check your location, planting date, and silking date. Silage corn needs 750-800 GDD (depending on hybrid maturity) after silking to reach a whole plant DM of 32%. Under typical late season dry down conditions we can expect the crop to reach 35% DM four to seven days later (Remember that we can expect to accumulate 20-25 GDD per day, or even up to 30, so this is not a large window). For more details, see this article. No matter what the numbers say, always check your crop!

GDD hybrid relative maturity table

Highlighted in Blue: Time to make plans (35% DM anywhere between 5 - 11 days from now, depending on maturity)

Highlighted in Green: Gas up the harvester and the trucks (35% DM in 2 - 8 days, depending on maturity)

Highlighted in Yellow: See you in the field (35% M in less than a week

Highlighted in Red: It's either already in the bunk or it's going for high-moisture corn or it's going in the bin for grain (DM likely > 35-40%

growing degree days table as of September 5









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Farmer Mental Health in New York State

May 29, 2024

A Story of Crisis and Advocacy from the Makers of the Documentary "Muckville"

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New York State Fiber Conference

June 9, 2024
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Theme for this year: Quality Matters

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Cash Rent and Custom Harvest Survey

To date, there is limited information available about rental rates and fees for crop harvesting.  Farms can use this valuable information for their farm business planning to help improve decision making and profitability. 

The data that is collected, and the subsequent reports/findings/resources will be helpful for all of us to answer that call of "What's the average rental rate in my area?" and "How much do people charge to combine oats?"

Take the survey here.

Farmers Can Join MeatSuite For Free! is a free resource provided by Cornell University where NY meat farmers can create a farm profile and list their bulk (wholes, halves, quarters) and bundled (i.e. Grilling Bundle) meat products.

Why should farmers join?

1. It's free and easy!
2. Connect with more local customers. In the past year the farm directory had 8,300 visits from New York consumers. Farm profiles get as many as 25 views per month from potential local customers. We also spotlight MeatSuite farms on social media and bring attention and purchases to farms through highlights and giveaways.

How do I join?

Farmers can visit to create a free farm profile. You must list at least one product for your farm's profile to go live. You'll also have access to Cornell's free Meat Price Calculator, a helpful tool for pricing your meat to make a profit.

While you're on MeatSuite, check out the "Creating Consumer-Friendly Bulk Meats" publication on the log-in page. It has tips on how to create bulk meat products that are easier for first-time buyers to say "yes" to.

If you have any questions as you create your farm profile or products, we're here to help! Please email Matt LeRoux at

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Spotted Lanternfly

Lycorma delicatula, or Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), is an invasive plant hopper from Asia and is an agricultural pest. In the United States, it was first found in Pennsylvania in 2014. Spotted Lanternfly has been found in New York State on Staten Island, all New York City boroughs, Long Island, Port Jervis, Sloatsburg, Orangeburg, Ithaca, Binghamton, Middletown, Newburgh, Highland, and the Buffalo area. SLF threatens the agriculture and forestry industries, and is also a nuisance pest. The nymphs and adults feed on over 70 different plants, but is especially detrimental to grapes, a black walnut, hops, maple trees and apples. New York State Ag and Markets supported CCE efforts to help bring awareness to communities and we developed this Public Service Announcement and would appreciate you sharing it with your member lists. 

CCE Livestock Program Work Team

See the Livestock Program Work Team website for news, upcoming programs, and NYS Slaughterhouse Map.