2014 Farming & Global Warming

Posted by Administrator on 9/10/2014
Farming is a tough business, especially in 2014. You never know how your crops are going to turn out because there are so many factors that are out of your hands. You may have the perfect day to fertilize, and right in the middle of the job a storm comes in and washes everything out. The unpredictable climate is a new factor that many farmers are having to deal with. Many of them used to be able to depend on historic weather tracking with references like the Farmers Almanac. But, today this history is almost unusable.

Many Western states have had less rain than usual and temperatures have ranged from the extremely hot to untypically cold to even freezing temperatures. Technology has helped offset some of the guesswork in predicting this uncanny weather. Real time barometric measurements have helped farmers anticipate problems and they can take the appropriate measures to save some crops, but it still is not enough.

Over the past five years we have seen much higher than average prices on many citrus crops including limes, and oranges because of cold snaps in Florida which ruined the fruit on the branch. What we have seen happening, especially when planting perennial crops like flowers, are later than normal plantings. This helps offset the chances of crops being destroyed by freezing temperatures. Oregon in 2013 had a very late freeze which destroyed many of the crops and produced planted to "Winter-over". As farmers adapt to these new weather patterns I believe produce that typically was abundant in a certain season for millenia may become abundant months later than it used to. Fresh Strawberries in Fall? It's going to take some getting used to.