Food and Drink

Hot temperatures this weekend hoped to help local corn crops

Some rain early Thursday morning and soaring temperatures this weekend may be just what local corn crops need to be ready for Fourth of July.

Scott DuBois, manager of Breeze Hill Farm in Peconic, said whether his corn crops will be ready remains unclear.

“Maybe Fourth of July, I’m not sure,” he said Thursday. “As of right now, no. Some warm weather can help, like this weekend. It might help it speed along. It’s because of the cool spring.”

Many crops this season have been pushed back because of the cool, wet spring weather this year, local farmers said.

“To this point here we’re a little bit later with some of the items,” said Jeff Rottkamp, owner of Rottkamp’s Fox Hollow Farm in Baiting Hollow. “But we’re gonna be getting some heat, so that can change things quickly.”

According to the Islip season climatology report from the The National Weather Service station in Upton, the average daily temperature from March 1 to June 31 this year was 48.8 degrees, down from 49.8 degrees during the 2017 season. There was also more two more inches of rainfall during the season, with an average of 15.52 inches compared to 13.28 inches during 2017.

Mr. Rottkamp and other North Fork farmers are hoping that some warm weather this weekend will be just what the corn crops need to be ready by the holiday.

“We’ve had kind of a cool spring and some cloudy weather,” Mr. Rottkamp said. “I’m kind of hoping that it’s gonna make it. I think we may have a little bit, but we need some heat, which I guess we’re gonna get. And we just got a nice inch of rain, so we have the water. So we need the heat and we need sunshine. It’s still up in the air a little bit.”

The weekend weather for the North Fork is expected to be in the mid- to high-80s, so the Fourth of July favorite may be ready just in time.

Krupski Farms in Peconic, which had its opening day Thursday, is optimistic the weather will cooperate.

“We did our due diligence this year on the farm, we covered the corn,” said owner, Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski. ” We’re very hopeful that we have one more week of growing, and that we will have corn for the Fourth of July. It looks beautiful. We’re working with Mother Nature as our partner, so time will tell. But we’re very hopeful.”

Photo caption: A section of the corn fields at Krupski Farms on Thursday afternoon. (Cyndi Murray photo)