Climatic Slowdown - Or Just Plain Late

FTLComm - Tisdale - Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Though we have all focused on the primary concern this spring and that has been the lack of moisture the whole process of growth is remarkably delayed because of this spring of 2002 being the coldest on record.

These two fields, the one above on a blackened worked up field and the one to the right on a stubble field are both barely out of the ground. Though the severe drought has delayed germination and in some cases made it occur extremely spotty it has been the cold temperatures that have made even the growth of weeds retarded.

Tisdale's Alfalfa Dehydration plant usually begins to process fresh alfalfa from the fields on the first of June, some ten days ago and looking at the alfalfa in the area it could be more than ten days before the first cut begins.

The dramatic slowed conditions are even more clearly illustrated in the gardens in town. The picture below is of one of the more advanced gardens and many people have only now began to plan their gardens simply because the temperatures were just to low to produce normal growth. Those gardens that have been watered are advancing slowly and those without irrigation are almost dormant.

When you consider that the temperature over night fell to 4ºC and is unlikely to get above 10ºC today it is easy to understand the poor growth. With perhaps as little as a foot of snow over the entire winter which would amount to just over an inch of rainfall and a total of just over half an inch of rain since the snow disappeared this is shaping up to be the sort of conditions one would expect is a very cold desert like the Asian Gobi or a cold version of the Nevada plateau desert.

All in all with out some continued rainfall and much warmer temperatures we will have to delay our thoughts about low grain prices to another year.