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Summer 2013 Report Card

Tony has his calculator out to assess the effects this summer's climate has on the growing season.

 

 
Mid Summer Report Card
 
This last weekend of July we reach the half way point of the astronomical summer and one thing is set in stone. The legacy of the summer of 2013 will be diametrically opposed to that of 2012.
 
Recall how last summer we endured blistering heat and drought conditions for much of the season. While late summer rains did help farmers salvage an OK crop, the persistent and intense hot and dry weather of May-June-early July set the tone for the summer.
 
This summer the trick has been turned with more water already measured in the rain bucket than we had ALL OF LAST SUMMER. At the Boyd County Fair on Thursday, extension agent Lyndal Harned told me if anything, farmers in the Bluegrass would like to see a nice long dry spell to assure a good crop this year. “Some corn and hay fields are too wet, and a dry week or 10 days can sure help the fields right now.”
 
Since the corn is past the tassel stage and in kernel fill, it still needs some rain, but the corn crop has been set at this stage of the summer.
 
Corn farmer Danny Blevins was also on hand at the fair and added, “my corn will be succulent this year. A far cry from the drought conditions we endured last summer.” Recall how I had reported from the parched Blevins fields last year on wsaz.com and at Newschannel 3.
 
 Here’s the breakdown and comparison of summer rain and heat.
 
                     JUNE-JULY RAINS
 
                  Huntington            Charleston
 
So Far           13”                       13.5”
 
All of Last      11”                       11”
Summer
 
So if we do not get another drop of rain this summer, we are already 2”+ ahead of the 2012 game.
 
Likewise the summer heat pattern shows a huge difference from last summer.
 
                      90 DEGREE SCORE CARD (thru July)
 
                      Huntington         Charleston
 
2013                 13 days                6  days 
 
2012                 23 days               25 days
 
Now as we head into August, the shortening days and lengthening nights will start working against long heat waves. Don’t get me wrong, we may well still get scorched this summer, but the water in the ground all but assures that we will not hit 100 degrees this season.
 
I will stick by my mid June prediction that the single hottest temperature of the summer will not occur until September.
 
The county fair season is in high gear so I will be checking in with farmers and kids in 4H/FFA all August long as we head toward harvest season.
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