Friday, November 16, 2012
ark-persimmon-seeds

Folkways: Weather Forecasting with Persimmon Seeds, Corn Silks

AgFax.Com - Your Online Ag News Source


Long before computer models for forecasting the winter ahead, there were simpler, folksier tools: persimmon seeds, woolly bear caterpillars and squirrels.

“There are long-held traditions about looking to nature for signs of the weather ahead,” said Tamara Walkingstick, associate director of the Arkansas Forest Resources Center, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

One such tradition is prediction by splitting open persimmon seeds. The “Farmers Almanac” says if the kernel is spoon-shaped, wet snow will fall. If it is fork-shaped, it will be light powdery snow and a mild winter. A knife-shaped kernel indicates icy, cutting winds. The almanac suggests using locally grown fruit to be locally more accurate.

 

“My Daddy was one of those people who believe in these signs,” said Bette Rae Miller, who works at the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View. “For instance, Daddy was talking about corn silks. If you have a corn crop and your silks are very abundant, then you’re going to have a cold winter because they’re protecting things.

“There was another thing Daddy used to talk about — fog on the mountain,” Miller said. “For every fog on the mountain you saw in August, there would be a snow in January.”

Snow itself could be an indicator of things to come – especially snowfall between November and March. “If the snow lays on the ground for a week, then it’s waiting for another snow to happen,” Miller said. “That was true in my mother’s day. We haven’t had enough snow in Stone County.”

Miller said her father was also a believer in the persimmon seeds. So far this fall, “most of the persimmons split here in Stone County have been spoons,” she said.

Those results have been echoed in Benton County, said Extension Staff Chair Robert Seay.  “The calls I’ve had from folks who’ve checked seed up here is they’re all coming up as spoons, which symbolizes ‘shovel’, meaning we’re in for snow,” he said.

In central Arkansas, result of local seed splittings has varied. Three seeds found at the Cooperative Extension Service headquarters in Little Rock, all from the same tree, found one knife, one fork and one spoon. Nearer to Perryville, two of two persimmon seeds showed spoons.

If the almanac is right, taken together, the persimmon prediction leans in favor of lots of heavy, wet snow.

How does this compare with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, for example? The CPC three-month outlook for January-February-March 2013 shows Arkansas with an above-normal percent chance of precipitation statewide.

There are other folk methods for predicting winter’s severity. According to “The Foxfire Book,” look for a bad winter if:

  • Squirrels begin collecting nuts early – in mid- to late-September
  • If there was a heavy crop of berries, acorns and pinecones or
  • Onions grow more layers

Another classic folk method for winter prediction is found in the hair of a woolly bear caterpillar. According to “The Foxfire Book,” winter will be bad if there are a lot of woolly bears around, and if the caterpillars have more black than brown. If the woolly bear is brown at both ends and orange in the middle, winter will be mild.

Whichever way winter goes, being prepared is serious business.

The Cooperative Extension Service has a preparedness fact sheet, “Be Aware and Prepare: Winter Storms,” available for download here.

Tags: , , , , ,


Leave a Reply

Name and Email Address are required fields. Your email will not be published or shared with third parties.

Sunbelt Ag News

    AgFax Grain Review: Diseases Developing Fungicide Resistance; Positive Outlook for Soybeans10-31

    Rice Market: Unexpected Action in Futures This Week10-31

    Rice Crop: Texas 2nd Crop Not Very Promising10-31

    Grain TV: Basis Levels Improve10-31

    AFB Grain-Soybean Close: Wheat Down, Gains in Corn, Soybeans10-31

    AFB Cotton Close: Futures Retrace Wed. Gains10-31

    AFB Rice Close: Futures End on Positive Note10-31

    South Carolina Cotton: Southern Southeastern Annual Meeting, Hilton Head, Jan. 21-2410-31

    Cleveland on Cotton: Goblins Keep Coming – Look for Jan. Rally10-31

    DTN Livestock Close: Short-Covering Boosts Live Hog Futures10-31

    BT Soybeans: MON 87751 Gets Non-Regulated Status by APHIS10-31

    AgFax Rice Review: Drought Hammers Cali. Crop; Surface Ozone Reduces Yields10-31

    Crop Tech: Orange Corn; BT-Soybeans; Frozen Oats – DTN10-31

    Grain Farming Economics Look Grim for 2015 – DTN10-31

    Crop Insurance: 3rd Option for Crop Payment Yield Update10-31

    DTN Cotton Close: Mixed After Late Rally10-31

    Mississippi Wildlife: Responsible Hunting Maintains Future Populations10-31

    DTN Grain Close: Soybean Complex Ends Week Higher10-31

    Mississippi Pecans: Off Year May Impact Holiday Volume10-31

    USDA: Peanut Price Highlights10-31

    Georgia Pecans: Good Demand, Lighter Crop Expected10-31

    Four States Cattle Conference Set Dec. 10 in Texarkana, Ark.10-31

    DTN Livestock Midday: Live Cattle Contracts Shift Lower10-31

    DTN Grain Midday: Corn, Wheat Trading Lower10-31

    AgFax Wildlife Review: Wild Hogs Could Put Scare in Trick-or-Treaters10-31

    DTN Cotton Open: Futures Dip Near Session Low10-31

    DTN Dried Distillers Grain: No Rally in Prices Expected10-31

    DTN Livestock Open: Cattle Contracts to Begin Firm10-31

    North Carolina: Irrigation Conference Slated Nov. 6 in Raleigh10-31

    DTN Grain Open: Soybeans Start Out Higher10-31

    Keith Good: Turkey Investigates U.S. Cotton Imports, Demand May Suffer10-31

    Doane Cotton Close: Strong Exports Continue10-30

    ELS Cotton Competitive Payment Rate Is Zero10-30

    Biodiesel: 2014 A Tough Year for Producers10-30

    Kansas Officials Point Out Flaws in Clean Water Act – DTN10-30

    Future Farmers Face Major Challenges, Ag Sec Tells FFA – DTN10-30

    U.S. Grain Transportation: Barge Rates Remain Well Above Average10-30

    Mississippi: Fall Tests for Nematodes Help Keep Crops Healthy10-30

    California’s SJV Included in Report on Soil Loss Due to Salt Damage10-30

    U.S. Energy: Gas Prices Drop to Lowest Since December 201010-30

    Gasoline Prices: Average Drops 6 Cents10-30

    Propane Stocks: Down 1.3M Barrels10-30

    Diesel Prices: Decrease by 2 Cents10-30

    New Research Study Shows the Value of Neonics10-30

    Texas: Pecos County Pesticide Workshop, Fort Stockton, Nov. 1810-29

    Florida: Sugarcane Field Day, Quincy, Nov. 310-29

    Texas Wildlife: New Deer Management App Just in Time for Deer Season10-29

    Peanut Stocks: Utilization Up 6%, Stocks Total 1.2B Pounds10-29

    Texas Pecans: Fairly Light Deliveries, Good Demand10-29

    Louisiana Pecans: Deliveries Insufficient to Establish Prices10-29

    Georgia: Brooks County Clean Day Rescheduled to Nov. 1210-29

    AgFax Cotton Review: U.S.’s High Quality Offers Market Resilience10-29

    Georgia: USDA Designates Early County Primary Natural Disaster Area10-29

    Why Chinese Consumers Pay More for Non-GMO Soy Oil – DTN10-29

    DTN Fertilizer Outlook: Demand May Fall with Crop Prices10-29

    Grain Math – Can you Pass the Test? – DTN10-29

    Welch on Wheat: Crop Condition Right on Average10-28

    Welch on Grain: Corn Harvest Runs Behind but Conditions Remain High10-28

    USDA: Weekly National Peanut Prices10-28

    Mississippi Wild Hogs: Trapping Is the Best Control Method10-28

    DTN Fertilizer Trends: Stubborn Prices Pose Dilemma for Grain Farmers10-28

    Corn Prices: How Do You Handle a Nervous Market? — DTN10-28

    Georgia Peanuts: Spider Mite Damage Rises in Dry Weather10-28

    Sunbelt Ag Events

     

    About Us

    AgFax.Com covers agricultural trends and production topics, with an emphasis on news about cotton, rice, peanuts, corn, soybeans, wheat and tree crops, including almonds, pecans, walnuts and pistachios.

      

    This site also serves as the on-line presence of electronic crop and pest reports published by AgFax Media LLC (formerly Looking South Communications).

        

    Click here to subscribe to our free reports.

      

    We provide early warnings and confirmations about pests, diseases and other factors that influence yield. Our goal is to quickly provide farmers and crop advisors with information needed to make better and more profitable decisions.

         

    Our free weekly crop and pest advisories include:

    • AgFax Midsouth Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Missouri.

    • AgFax Southeast Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southwest Cotton (new for 2013!), covering cotton production and news in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico.

    • AgFax West (formerly MiteFax: SJV Cotton), covering California cotton, alfalfa, tomatoes and other non-permanent crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgFax Rice covering rice production and news in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

    • AgFax Peanuts, covering peanut production in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southern Grain: covering soybeans, corn, milo and small grains in Southern states.

    • AgFax Almonds, covering almonds, pistachios, walnuts and other tree crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgCom 101, providing guidance to ag professionals involved in social media.

    Our newsletters are sponsored by the following companies: FMC Corporation Chemtura Dow AgroSciences.

          

    Mission statement:

    Make it as easy as possible for our community of readers to find and/or receive needed information.

              

    Contact Information:

    AgFax Media. LLC

    142 Westlake Drive Brandon, MS 39047

    601-992-9488 Office 601-992-3503 Fax

    Owen Taylor Debra L. Ferguson Laurie Courtney

          

    Circulation Questions?

    Contact Laurie Courtney