Wednesday, April 13, 2011
by Jerry Husemann
The Farmer's Almanac 2011 weather predictions
For 219 years, The Old Farmer's Almanac has used a proprietary technique to forecast the weather for an entire year ahead. For 2010, The Old Farmer's Almanac weather predictions were 81% accurate in their prediction of direction of change in precipitation from the previous winter. The accuracy of the temperature predictions were within 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit using a city selected from each of the 16 regions of the U.S. Below is a summary of the weather predictions for 2010/2011 for the months that are in front of us:
- April and May 2011 will be warmer than normal, on average, in the Inter mountain, Desert Southwest, and Pacific Southwest regions and cooler than normal elsewhere. Rainfall will be above normal from the Carolinas southward to Florida and westward to New Mexico and in the Heartland region and below normal elsewhere.
- June through August 2011 temps will be above normal in the Upper Midwest, Tennessee, northern Arkansas, northern California, and western Oregon and near or cooler than normal elsewhere. Rainfall will be above normal in the High Plains and from South Carolina southward and westward to the Desert Southwest. It will be drier than normal in most other areas.
- September and October 2011 will be cooler than normal in the eastern two-thirds of the country and warmer than normal in the western third. Rainfall will be above normal from Maine southward to Virginia and in southern Florida, the Deep South, the High Plains, and southern California and near or below normal elsewhere.
**The wise old farmer commented that he has been farming 40 years... one year at a time. Lesson learned: Very rarely do we get two successive years weather patterns to be similar which makes it very difficult to predict the level of opportunity for weather dependent markets such as selling Turf & Ornamental Plant Protection Products.
Back in my territory the pattern has been cold and very wet for much of the area. Gaylord, MI, Petosky, MI, and other cities in northern Michigan still have a few inches of snow cover. Most of northern Ohio & Michigan have no snow cover but the ground in many areas of the territory is pretty saturated.
Golf course superintendents begin their preventative disease and weed control programs
Golf course locations in much of the territory are attempting to begin the process of aerifying greens in between the rainfall events. Within the next few days, early spring preventive dollar spot applications will begin for much of the territory; preventive applications for pythium root dysfunction will begin to be applied; preemergent applications beginning to be applied in golf course naturalized areas; landscape bed weed control applications are going out in perennial beds; fertilizer and pre-emergent applications in roughs and fairways, etc.
In other words, a lot of applications and projects are being narrowed into a very tight window as a result of the 2011 spring weather patterns.
Turf managers time preemergent and postemergent herbicide apps to control crabgrass
Last year, crabgrass germinated early in my geography and caught many lawn care operators off guard. Crabgrass was beginning to germinate in the 1st week of April in 2010. Most lawn care operators continued applying preemergent herbicides as the crabgrass was germinating without changing to a postemergent product focus or combination of pre & post for crabgrass control. This was one of the major reasons for the huge season in the need for controlling crabgrass with a post-emergent focus.
It looks like crabgrass will begin germinating near the end of April which is more normal for our area. Preemergent applications should have a better chance in providing good control as long as the April rainfall patterns are not too severe.