Agfax Buzz:
    April 9, 2012

    Virginia Cotton: Extended Weather Forecasting – Anticipating Planting

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    By Johnny Parker, Commonwealth Gin

    There is more information about longterm weather this year than we have had access to in the past.  One would assume that the forecasting is better than ever as science and computer processing advance.  Theoretically we can use this information to make some management decisions in Agriculture and possibly avoid potential bad weather or at least be prepared for it.

    • I bet we still make some mistakes and relying too much on long term weather data in the past can be like a coin toss sometimes.   (This topic always reminds me of Ecclesiastes 11:4 – look it up.)
    • At any rate and with a grain of salt, I would rather have more information than less information.
    • This week will have mild daytime temperatures and chilly nights.
    • Warm weather next week could be tempting for local farmers to get a start on planting cotton, however patience should win out.  April 20 has been the calendar date to wait on before planting cotton over the years for farmers who have wanted to get an early start.  That day is not until Friday week.
    • We actually have gotten better results from planting cotton later for several years now.  Excessively hot summers seem to be more severe for April planted cotton.  And while a few acres planted in April is fine and even desirable, it makes more sense to take our time extending planting over multiple weeks.
    • For now, we will just watch the pattern develop and continue with pre-plant chores.


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