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Farmers’ Almanac Predicts Harsh Winter

By Jean-Paul McDonald,

With memories of last year’s winter still frozen in people’s minds, the folks over at Farmers’ Almanac are predicting that the upcoming winter of 2014 / 2015 will be one to remember as well.  The latest issue of the nearly 200-year-old publication, which goes on sale this week, is forecasting colder and wetter-than-usual weather conditions for the two-thirds of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.

While the North Eastern parts of the country, including the Midwest and Great Lakes region are expected to get blasted with snow and frigid temperatures, California and other areas of the Pacific Northwest will receive normal levels of precipitation and cool temperatures this winter. Last year, the historic publication was highly accurate with their forecast of an extreme winter, while national forecasters made a mess with their often inaccurate predictions.

The Farmers’ Almanac uses a unique and mostly-secret formula to create its weather predictions, which include factors such as moon cycles, sun spots and other celestial observations. While their methods are not generally supported by the modern-day scientific community, farmers have long-used this information for planning plantings and harvests.

After failing to predict the weather with any great accuracy last winter, forecasts using modern scientific methods are suggesting that we could be seeing a return of the dreaded “Polar Vortex” as early as September this year – which would cause havoc for farmers in the North East and Great Lakes regions. With a late start to planting in the spring of 2014, farmers need the extra time this fall to get their crops to full maturity, and a drastic drop in temperature could result in severe frost damage to crops over a large area.

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Video: Follow the Potato Farmer

We are taking students out to southern Manitoba to Hespler Farms! Farmer Wayne will teach students how he plants and cares for his potato crop and why potatoes are such a unique crop to grow. Teachers, check out your AITC Dashboard for Math'd Potatoes, a potato-themed classroom resource to pair with this tour video. Thank you to Peak of the Market and Penner Farm Services for making this event possible.


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