The weather pattern for western Massachusetts has been a bit unusual so far this summer. This past June was the second-rainiest on record. July followed that up with a seven-day heat wave last week. Local corn has resiliently grown through it all.
McKinstry Market Garden in Chicopee is not seeing quite the yield they would ideally want, but customers keep returning for some of the best local corn in the area.
"We are satisfied with the quality of the corn, but we are not satisfied with how it has grown," said Bill McKinstry, president of McKinstry Market Garden.
Hot weather helps corn grow fast, but if it grows too fast it can become difficult to re-fertilize if heavy rain washes the fertilizer away. An uneven height of the crop has also prevented the fields from yielding their full potential.
"We would like to get 250 to 300 crates per acre, but we're lucky if we can get 200 crates right now," said McKinstry.
However, this week's weather has been much more pleasant and ideal for corn growing and picking. Cool nights help the corn retain its natural sweetness, and no heat waves in the 7-day forecast should continue helping the crop.
"Right now, the corn is about an inch shorter than what we would like, but that should straighten out in about a week or so." said McKinstry.
Corn can be grown in western Massachusetts through early autumn, but the peak season is from mid-July to mid-August.
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